Eric B. Johnson

Eric B. Johnson

“Ernest Bloch: A Composer’s Vision” was the title of the article I wrote for Aperture magazine in 1972 on my discovery, printing and research of Ernest Bloch’s photography. Below is a brief story about how I unearthed this vast photographic output of over 5,000 negatives by one of the great 20th century composers. It is a story that includes W. Eugene Smith, who listened to Bloch’s music and said “somebody needs to find out about his photographs;” Alfred Stieglitz, who in 1922 was very pleased that Bloch saw music in his photographs of clouds; Minor White, who saw the connections between music and photography and made it possible to publish my article; Paul Caponigro, who helped teach me how to print to get the most out of Bloch’s negatives; Bernard Freemesser, my undergraduate instructor who said “you should do the footwork;” and Suzanne, Ivan and Lucienne Bloch-Dimitroff, his wonderful children who were so generous and supportive of me. And it was Ansel Adams who made it possible for the archive including a large selection of prints I made from Bloch’s negatives, to be placed in the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ.

The 1972 article in Aperture Magazine can be found here.