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Featured Artist, Dan Estabrook

Film by Luke Walden

For over thirty years, Dan Estabrook has been making contemporary art using a variety of 19th-century photographic techniques, including calotype negatives, salt prints, gum bichromate prints, ambrotypes, and tintypes. His interest in photography has been complemented by forays into sculpture, painting, and drawing.

Dan is one of two Featured Artists for the 38th Annual Penland Benefit Auction. A joyous celebration of craft and community, the auction is Penland’s major annual fundraiser.

Dan has exhibited widely and has received several awards, including an NEA Artist’s fellowship. He is the subject of a documentary film by Anthropy Arts, and he teaches alternative photographic processes as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute in New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Dan first came to Penland as a studio assistant in 1992, and since then he has taught over a dozen times, including several eight-week concentration workshops. His Penland workshops are lively, messy, and filled with joy and conversation. He has also been part of Penland as a visiting artist, a curator, a symposium organizer, and a member of the design committee for the school’s beautiful photo studio. Although he describes himself as a lifelong city boy, he says, “the mountains will always be my other home.”

This video shows the creation of Dan’s work, “Dumb Skulls Forever,” generously donated to the Penland Benefit Auction in support of Penland’s mission of making lives meaningful through making.

Dan Estabrook
Dumb Skulls Forever
Black glass ambrotype
14 x 17 inches

To learn more about the Penland Benefit Auction:…