During a little holiday trip, producer John Harris made a visit to the gallery and studio of photographer Clyde Butcher. For anyone who grew up in Florida, Butcher’s work should be very familiar; his photography is often found on the walls of local libraries, municipal buildings, and, as Miami native Jason Tables points out, “every doctor’s office I’ve ever been in.” Butcher’s images of the Florida landscapes, particularly of the Everglades, are legendary, and although he has a brisk print sales business, many of the photos in libraries have the attached placard, “Donated by Clyde Butcher.”
Although he is known primarily for his large format black-and-white photography of “the swamp,” Butcher’s photographic career extends back over many decades and includes architectural photography, mountain and western landscapes, filmed documentaries, and decorative color photography. Interestingly, Butcher began his career selling prints at small art fairs and, in the 1970s, he had a thriving business selling thousands of prints through department stores such as Sears and Montgomery Ward.
This episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is a casual conversation that glides through several topics including Butcher’s work with large format cameras, his recent foray into Sony digital cameras paired with Canon tilt-shift lenses, the incredible set of vintage enlargers in his giant darkroom space, the business models he and his family employ to market his images, water conservation, and, of course, his relationship to the Florida landscape for which he will be forever linked. Join us for this conversation with a true master.
Guest: Clyde Butcher
Some of Clyde Butcher’s current and future exhibits:
America the Beautiful:
Midwest Museum of American Art April 17, 2020 - July 12, 2020 - Elkhart, IN
Fort Wayne Museum of Art October 1 - December 31, 2021 - Fort Wayne, IN
Ave Maria University December 10th – February 28th 2020 - Ave Maria, FL
IMAG History & Science Center March 6 - May 31, 2020 - Fort Myers, FL
Ding Darling Wildlife Society Nov 7, 2019 – February 7, 2020 - Sanibel, FL
The Butler Institute of American Art September 13 – November 22, 2020 - Youngstown, OH