Photograph courtesy of John Foster
One of the first things I covered for St. Louis Magazine was a preview for Accidental Mysteries, an exhibit of "vernacular photographs" (that's an academic term for "snapshot") at the Sheldon Art Galleries. The show was curated by John Foster, who has an uncanny radar for striking, disturbing, beautiful photographs taken by everyday people. After the exhibit closed, it toured the country, and eventually John set up a permanent site for the photos (linked above). He also named his blog "Accidental Mysteries," which was an accurate title, though he rarely posted about his photo collection.You can find his blog here, but note that it'll be moving on October 3, because Design Observer has asked Foster to join their blogging team. Even though he won't be posting new material on blogspot, I encourage you to go through his archives, because there's lots of good stuff there (like this....and this...and this).
Two more pieces of important John Foster-related news: Newsweek has taken note of his vernacular photographs, and posted an online slideshow here. (Many of these images are ones that were in the Sheldon show in 2005.) Also, Foster and Rick Ege (of R. Ege Antiques in Soulard), have curated a new show for the Sheldon's Bellwether Gallery, Uncommon Objects/Personal Views. It opens October 1 and runs through January 8, and includes work by Clarence and Grace Woolsey, Lee Godie, George Widener, Howard Finster, Henry Ray Clark, and several anonymous artists. Though Goethe once crankily proclaimed mysteries as "not necessarily miracles," John Foster's photo collection (and blog posts, and this upcoming exhibit) might convince you otherwise.