Art from the Archive: the casual gallerist with a cigarette & a Mark Tobey


I love the expression on gallerist Jytte Allen’s face: doesn’t she look slightly bemused at being asked to stand next to a painting by Mark Tobey for a photograph?

She’s also got her right hand touching the frame. I can imagine the photographer Dan Scott asking her to touch the edge to make a connection between herself and the painting. Maybe she found that amusing too.

And then there’s the cigarette. She’s holding it between her index finger and middle finger. It makes her look like an experienced smoker.

With the amount of ash as the end of the cigarette, I wonder if she had been holding that pose for a while as the photographer manoeuvred her into position to take what he thought was the best shot. Allen’s willingness to be photographed with a cigarette for The Vancouver Sun shows how attitudes toward tobacco

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