Axel Bahnsen (1907-1978) was a photographer in Yellow Springs for many years.
Bahnsen’s concept of photography was that a camera was a “third eye” which allowed the creative artist another option with which to view and record life. He believed the photographer, in order to create art with his camera, had to get inside the scene to the degree that all was sensed and intellectualized. To illustrate this concept, he often told an inquirer who wanted to take better photos to read a James Joyce novel or one of Shakespeare’s plays. He felt that gadgetry was not the answer to the artistic photograph but insight into the subject of that photograph. (Source: Axel Bahnsen Photograph & Catalogue Collection (MS-145) finding aid.)
You can enjoy some of Bahnsen’s beautiful photographs in our new exhibit on the second floor of the Dunbar Library, in the two cases just around the corner from the elevators (near the restrooms).
The exhibit, created by WSU Special Collections & Archives archivist Toni Vanden Bos, will remain on display through the end of the summer, so please stop by and have a look!
To learn more about Bahnsen and his photography, visit the Archives on the fourth floor of Dunbar Library and ask us about the Axel Bahnsen Photograph & Catalogue Collection (MS-145).