lionel barrymore

Lionel Barrymore

After making a few beginner's mistakes, I finally got my first proper 8x10 today! It was a special moment. I kinda wanted my first 8x10 to be a Fred Astaire photograph, but my first experiences in the world of collecting weren't very successful—I got tricked into buying three Astaire pictures that turned out not to be originals. So that was that. Anyways, this isn't about Fred (Jesus, I just cannot ever shut up about that guy, can I?), this is about the very lovely and very talented Mr. Barrymore. The picture is undated, but from the looks of it I'm thinking it must be sometime from the late 30s. There's a little pinhole at the top, and on the back someone has marked it in a way that makes it seem like it was being prepared to be printed in a newspaper or magazine. I sat with it for a while today—what a difference to hold an actual vintage photograph in my hands, as opposed to looking at it on a computer screen. I think that's what I will love about collecting—maybe even more than the picture itself it's the history that's attached to it that excites me. To wonder who held this in their hands before me? What was their life like? I like to think that it hung on a wall in a busy newspaper office at some point, and all the guys who worked there wore hats and suspenders and had a cigarette dangling from the corner of their mouths, and they'd yell at each from behind their desks. Just like in the movies! And we're all connected through the Lionel.