September 08, 2013

"test of time" 8 of 30 - the Photo-Plaque biz., 1963-66

photo by Donald Kinney

I had a very crafty uncle, Uncle Jim, who was responsible for introducing me to photography. Uncle Jim manufactured a plain routed edged particle-board plaque for the decoupage trade, and with a bit of brainstorming we found a way to mount my black & white photographs to the particle-board plaques.

The plaques were 8" x 6", and shrink-wapped with a recessed hanger on the back. The edges had been dipped in flat black paint. If you stopped by the Wharf Gallery in Monterey in the mid-1960's you could pick up one of these Donald Kinney "originals" for a mere $1.95. I managed to sell over 300 at the Wharf Gallery between 1963 and 1966. That's not a lot of money, but it is 300 people who bought my work.

I built a nifty flip-though box that was popular with Wharf Gallery visitors. The gallery owner, Les Anderson often remarked how much interest the "Photo-Plaques" generated. My biggest plaque seller was probably "The Lone Cypress", or maybe it was this scene (above) of Point Sur along Highway-1.

The Monterey Peninsula and the Big Sur coast are incredibly photogenic--a plethora of photo-ops. Just seemed logical for young teenager and camera-bug, Donald Kinney, to glue those photo-ops to pieces of particle-board.

CLICK for 40 photos on what I call my "big site";
CLICK for "Photographing Marin County"; my Marin County exhibit.

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