Michael Vahrenwald is an American photographer and educator
Episode 278: Michael Vahrenwald is a photographer and educator whose new and unbelievably excellent book The People’s Trust published by Kominek Books explores a particular American architectural typology.
I was sent Michael’s book by Misha Kominek with no expectations. Misha simply asked if I might be interested to see a copy and I have to admit that I was perplexed by what lay inside. I am a huge fan of architectural projects and projects about neo-classical and federal buildings in particular. The book arrived and much to my satisfaction I sat absorbed in its pages for hours-most of the stemming from reading Wolfgang Scheppe’s unparalleled writing inside. If ever a text in a photobook was needed and delivered with scholarship and aplomb, it was Scheppe’s essay. Simply incredible.
Speaking with Michael, we covered the background of this very particular re-used American savings banks and discussed their metaphorical and symbolic value to the country itself. We spoke about how Michael went about gathering images and where he concentrated his geography. The conversation was loose and friendly. Michael filled me in on his work, but also his teaching at Hartford, one of the best schools for photography in the nation. We discussed books, banks, and his background. Please tune in and please do yourself a favor and pick up this gem from Kominek as soon as possible. It is bound to be a classic.