May 11, 2013 through June 04, 2013

Two Friends Who Never Met

An Exhibit of Gum Bichromate Prints

In Memory and Honor of Katharine Thayer featuring the work of Katharine Thayer and Diana Bloomfield
along with a juried exhibit of Gum Bichromate Prints featuring 15 printers from around the world.
Juror – Diana Bloomfield – Diana’s Bio

Opening Reception, Saturday, May 11th, 6-9pm
An Artists Opening with Artist Talk Saturday, May 11th 3-5pm
is by invite only – contact gallery with interest in attending.

This exhibit serves to illuminate Katharine’s artistry— her admiration for, dedication to, and mastery of gum printing. This exhibit also celebrates her legacy and her years-long friendship with Diana. We welcome you to share in the beauty of the hand-made print, and specifically, the gum bichromate print, with a juried exhibit as part of this memoriam for Katharine.

I had a mental picture of the kind of photograph I wanted to make. I had never seen any photographs like them, but I was determined to find a way to make them, these pictures I saw in my head. Their colors were soft and relatively unsaturated, but with a kind of glow about them . . . I set out first to teach myself to print in gum, then to adapt the method to produce the kinds of pictures I wanted to make, and have been making them ever since – Katharine Thayer –

Katharine Thayer was a long-time resident of Astoria and Ranier,Oregon and a masterful gum bichromate printer. She was also a generous teacher to those who struggled to learn this ultimately rewarding, yet often challenging, 19th century printing process. In Katharine’s words, “learning gum printing involves some trial and error, and there’s no short cut to mastery; a person successful in mastering the process will have some staying power and possess a sense of humor and some tolerance for failure.”
Katharine was also a decades-long member of “The List” , an Alternative Process listserv— a free and open online discussion list related to all things ‘alternative’ in the photographic printing world. For Katharine, of course, this meant gum printing. Currently, over 600 people world-wide are members of this List, and this is where Diana Bloomfield, a native North Carolinian, photographer and printer, first met Katharine. In the middle of teaching herself to make gum prints, Diana gleaned invaluable bits of information from those on the List, but she learned the most from Katharine and from her website ( In the midst of all the questions, and in-between Katharine’s tireless mentoring, the two became good friends. They corresponded via email almost daily, and they were once in a group pinhole exhibit together in the Seattle area. Diana was also in a group exhibit at LightBox, where Katharine was a frequent visitor. Still, they never met.

This exhibit celebrates Katharine’s legacy and her years-long friendship with Diana. Many individuals who knew and learned from Thayer have contributed prints for this group show. Diana Bloomfield, an exhibiting photographer for thirty years, has received numerous awards, including a New Jersey State Visual Arts Fellowship, and four Regional Artist Grants from the United Arts of Raleigh, NC.

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