Fine Art & Contemporary American Craft

106 Main Street Brattleboro, VT | 802.257.7044

Michael McDermott

Reported by the Brattleboro Reformer in 1979, “Photographer Michael McDermott of Brattleboro has scored a journalistic coup – the first known picture of novelist-recluse J.D.Salinger since 1961.” The then 20-year-old from Brattleboro was on assignment for Newsweek Magazine and accomplished what many other photographers had failed to do. McDermott captured the famous image of Salinger as he exited the Windsor, VT, post office. Even today only a handful of images of Salinger exist and even fewer from his reclusive years. The Shane Salerno documentary "SALINGER" opens with McDermott re-enacting how, at 20 years old, the photographer captured Salinger on film for Newsweek—a mission others had tried, but failed to accomplish. “The release of the documentary “SALINGER” inspired me to make this historic photograph available to the public”, said McDermott. "The print is a tribute to a literary genius," said McDermott. "It provides Salinger's fans, present and especially future, a brief and candid glimpse of the talented, brilliant man." Unique in its candid portrayal of Salinger, the photo shows the author in casual dress, holding his car keys. In addition to the movie, McDermott's rare and historic photograph of J.D. Salinger is printed on page 99 in Salerno's book, Salinger, which was released by Simon & Schuster on September 3, 2013. The 15-by-19.375-inch reproductions were created using photogravure, the richest and most permanent method for printing photographs. John Goodman, the artist credited with keeping the photogravure process alive, created the prints. "I chose this method not only for its quality and beauty, but also because it translates an image created by light into an image drawn by layers of ink," said McDermott. "It also resembles the printing process used for books and magazines, reflecting the literary importance of the photograph." To ensure proper provenance the prints are numbered, signed by the artist, and accompanied by a letterpress printed certificate of authenticity as well as the story of how McDermott shot it. The print and documents are presented in a handcrafted box folio. Photogravure uses a copper plate created from a negative to transfer ink to paper. The copper plate used to produce the Salinger prints has been permanently encased in acrylic, guaranteeing that it can never be used to produce more prints.