Mike Mandel: Untitled (Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards), Complete Set of 135 Cards. Self-published, Santa Cruz, California, 1975. No binding. Each card 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches. 1st Edition. First edition, first and only printing. 134 photo-offset reproductions of portraits printed on individual "trading cards," with one additional card with checklist of participating photographers. Photographs by Mike Mandel. Texts, statistics and quotes by the respective artists printed on verso. Lithographic reproductions printed by Mike Roberts, Berkeley, California. The cards are stored in clear polypropylene archival baseball card pages (9 cards to a page)
"In 1974, just a year before Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, classmates at the San Francisco Art Institute, were awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to pursue what eventually became their seminal project, Evidence, Mandel found himself becoming frustrated by the growing competitiveness within photographic circles. “[In the Seventies] it seemed that the photo community was comprised of a group of dedicated artists, who. . . had been snubbed by the art world for having the audacity to negate the imperative of the unique, precious object,” Mandel wrote in 1999, 'But a strange thing happened about that time: the art world discovered photography. . . Competitions for NEA grants and university jobs began to revolve around the hierarchy of art world professionals.'
Mandel’s response was to embark on The Baseball Photographer Trading Cards, a collection of 134 informal portraits of photographers posing as baseball players, which were produced in the manner of ordinary trading cards, complete with index numbers, accompanying statistics and quotes on the reverse side, and were then sold in packs of ten—complete with bubble gum donated by Topps, the leading producer of sports-related cards at the time. 'I wanted to lampoon the newfound celebrity-hood of photo personalities in the art marketplace,' Mandel explains, also remembering that during his own baseball-card collecting childhood, 'cards made the players more accessible—in fact, public property.'"--
Aaron Schuman, "Mike Mandel: 'The Baseball Photographer Trading Cards'", Aperture #200, Fall 2010.
Some of these names will be familiar, others not. A fascinating snapshot of the photo-universe as it then existed--a time when the medium was gaining greater acceptance in the museum establishment and a market for prints was beginning to coalesce.
The Complete Line-Up:
1) Bob Flick; 2) Joel Meyerowitz; 3) Van Deren Coke; 4) Joe Deal; 5) Ron Walker; 6) Lee Witkin; 7) Al Sweetman; 8) Don Drowty; 9) Ellen Brooks; 10) Dennis Hearne; 11) Elaine Mayes; 12) Bart Parker; 13) Larry Sultan; 14) Ed West; 15) Arthur Siegel; 16) Leonard Freed; 17) Margery Mann; 18) Harry Callahan; 19) Gary Metz; 20) Peter Gowland; 21) Ansel Adams; 22) Ed Ruscha; 23) Grace Mayer; 24) Mike Mandel; 25) Harold Allen; 26) Laura Gilpin; 27) Hank Smith; 28) Anne Tucker; 29) Phil Perkis; 30) Michael Simon; 31) Bill Owens; 32) Manuel Bravo; 33) Nathan Lyons; 34) Bill Arnold; 35) Jim Hajicek; 36) Les Krims; 37) Joyce Neimanas; 38) Judy Dater; 39) Al Coleman; 40) Ira Nowinski; 41) Jack Welpott; 42) Linda Parry; 43) Burke Uzzle; 44) Jim Dow; 45) Dave Freund; 46) Todd Walker; 47) Catherine Jansen; 48) Eva Rubinstein; 49) Eddie Sievers; 50) Minor White; 51) Michael Becotte; 52) Fred McDarrah; 53) Richard Link; 54) Betty Hahn; 55) Nick Hlobeczy; 56) Bob Cumming; 57) Ken Josephson; 58) Naomi Savage; 59) John Divola; 60) Tom Barrow; 61) Carl Chiarenza; 62) Bea Nettles; 63) Roger Mertin; 64) John Benson; 65) Cal Kowal; 66) Aaron Siskind; 67) R. von Sternberg; 68) Paige Pinnell; 69) Arthur Tress; 70) Jacob Deschin; 71) Linda Connor; 72) Don Blumbeing; 73) Jim Alinder; 74) Harold Jones; 75) M.J. Walker; 76) Bill Parker; 77) Al Woolpert; 78) Duke Baltz; 79) Gus Kayafas; 80) Duane Michals; 81) Darryl Curran; 82) Arnold Newman; 83) Geoff Winningham; 84) Paul Vanderbilt; 85) Anne Noggle; 86) Timo Pajunen; 87) Edmund Teske; 88) Imogen Cunningham; 89) Andy Anderson; 90) Bill Larson; 91) Pete Bunnell; 92) Robert Doherty; 93) Joe Jachna; 94) Oscar Bailey; 95) Jerry Uelsmann; 96) Art Sinsabaugh; 97) Charles Roitz; 98) Doug Stewart; 99) Chuck Swedlund; 100) Bill Edwards; 101) Bobby Heinecken; 102) Micha Bar-Am; 103) Beaumont Newhall; 104) Wynn Bullock; 105) Jerry McMillan; 106) John Schulze; 107) Neal Slavin; 108) Lee Rice; 109) Joan Lyons; 110) Bill Jenkins; 111) Fred Sommer; 112) Barbara Crane; 113) Emmet Gowin; 114) Barbara Morgan; 115) Mark Power; 116) Cornell Capa; 117) Lionel Suntop; 118) Bunny Yeager; 119) Doug Prince; 120) Eileen Cowin; 121) Eve Sonneman; 122) Reg Heron; 123) Scott Hyde; 124) Conrad Pressma; 125) John Szarkowski; 126) Bill Eggleston; 127) Mike Bishop; 128) Bob Fichter; 129) Liliane DeCock; 130) Tom Porett; 131) Arnold Crane; 132) Arnold Gassan; 133) Elliott Erwitt; 134) Len Gittleman; 135) Trading card checklist.
Often found tanned and/or with worn/frayed edges, this entire set is in Fine condition; all cards clean and bright in individual acetate sleeves.