Home My 70th-year ImageCV for Codex 2017BiographyHow I Got into StereoMy Work

Photographs and drawings by Georgette Freeman © 2016. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 by Georgette Freeman. All rights reserved.

§ 2018

postcard front

postcard back

This is the Georgette bird.

She is rare and on the extinct list. Even though she is a hermaphrodite, she can only nest in a RAM spare tire and they are few and far between these days.

The story of the G bird is she has been around for centuries. Her feathers are rumored to impart creativity and computer skills to all that possess one. In fact, as a young girl Frieda Kahlo found one shortly after she started painting. Also, the wisest and oldest women in the world, the Big Headed women of the Himalayas, possess such a feather on their altar. The story goes that the GB was a common grey woodpecker who was in most circus acts as she/he was not afraid of fire and was forced to fly through rings of fire. One day the woodpecker escaped and flew away right into a rainbow and was transformed into the G bird. Darwin didn't see it coming and the GB has been revered ever since for her strength and beauty.

The G bird has the magical powers of shape shifting and has been known to shape shift into a creative book maker who has an affinity for cars. You are blessed indeed if you ever see a G bird or find a feather.

Pam (Hales)


SP: Bush Street, noon, San Fran. March 7

§ My 70th-year Image

portrait drawing
Georgette in the Studio, a drawing by Joel Daniel Phillips

Through the courtesy of Joel Daniel Phillips, you can watch him draw it. Click image.

§ CV for CODEX 2017

geo in diner
Georgette in the Landscape: Mickey's Dining Car, St. Paul MN, June 5, 2016.

Georgette Freeman is a photographer, writer, box and stereo-card maker, and book artist. Her other achievements include being a retired federal agent (SEC) and SFCB workshop instructor.

Georgette and the New Girl Press have had multiple book art object sales to institutions: the University of Washington Rare Book and Special Collections (CODEX 2, 3, and 4), and the Library of Congress Rare Books and Artists Books (CODEX 5). For the recent sale to the Library of Congress, see: http://www.gcfreeman.com/Lightning.html. Sales have also been made to private collectors. 

For CODEX 6, Georgette and the New Girl Press intend to show a book of images from the Loma Prieta Earthquake, stereo-cards from GC's REALIST-ic Views, gleanings from the “Zen of Morley,” and other ephemera, including a 3-D stereo-box kit for a smart phone.

Photographs of three objects, including one sold to a private collector and the book sold to the Library of Congress, were featured in Book Art Object 2 (Stanford Press). For the original CODEX (1), Georgette was a journalist, whose piece on the show was later published, among other places, on the CODEX Foundation's web site. (See: http://www.thenewgirlpress.com/wcodexpv.html)


current georgetteCurrently, Georgette Freeman is leading a second life as a book artist and book arts instructor in San Francisco. Since first attending college in 1967, she has garnered BAs in Journalism and History and pursued other extensive academic undergraduate course work in 2-D materials and design, drawing, sculpture, and accounting. She has shown work in various non-profit fine art photographic and book art venues since 1971.

In addition, Georgette has participated in numerous photographic and book arts workshops over the years, and taught workshops in stereo card making since 2000. Since 2003, she has continuously taught book art workshops at the San Francisco Center for the Book. In 2005, Georgette retired from the San Francisco office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a field examiner.





§ How I Got into Stereo

photo of GeorgetteGeorgette wasn’t born with a camera in her hands. Until the summer of ’67 (she was twenty), she’d never clicked a shutter. But then she clicked some 720 times on a car trip from Sacramento to New York City, to EXPO 67 in Montreal, and back home by way of Saskatchewan.

Of course, what got her into photography wasn’t the shutter sound, but all that ruined film. Having followed the exposure instructions included in each box of Kodachrome, she spent the next year in and out of a darkroom learning the relationships between film speed, light and f/stops.

Five years and a couple of exposure meters later, Georgette had under her belt three years as a photographer on a semi-daily newspaper, two years as a still photographer in the Army, and a BA degree in Journalism and History. Then she got a job. A real job, as a federal clerk.

In 1997, Georgette found herself a writer of serious non-fiction for the San Francisco office of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. And, in the interim, not only did she pick up academic training in accounting, but she also studied two-dimensional materials and design at an art school for five years, as well as the Zone System and West Coast Photography at photographic workshops given over the years by Morley Baer, Ted Orland, Oliver Gagliani, and John Sexton. “I allowed myself to become a minor government official,” she says, “because I couldn’t afford to support my photographic interests otherwise.”

At the time a dabbler in black & white formats, Georgette discovered stereo photography in 1995 and began producing Holmes-Bates format stereo cards. “I don’t know where stereo will lead,” she says, “but it definitely is a medium where photography, writing, design, and desktop publishing can be legitimately united.”

Since 2002, Georgette has taught stereo card making classes at the San Francisco Center for the Book. In addition, looking to dignify her hand, Georgette Freeman is a student of calligraphy, as well as a journalist and photographer, book artist, and a retired SEC examiner.

§ My Work

self on a plane
Me, myself (and I),on a plane, SFO-to-Atlanta, late September 2001.

This work is what I was doing from 1995 to 2001, when not examining investment advisers’ books and records for the San Francisco office of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. As I flew, from Bakersfield CA in the south, to Fairbanks AK in the north, and from Great Falls MT in the east, to Port Angeles WA in the west, this is what I was thinking about on the plane.

Back then, my first name was George. I was male, straight, deep into my SEC career, well along in a relationship with a woman, and had no children, but plenty of hobbies including photography. My partner’s passion was dogs and dog training.

But something was missing in my life. I wasn’t personally engaged. I was 48 years old in early 1995 and about to have a mid-life crisis that no amount of red cars or illicit lovers could satisfy. I had last tried to transition in gender back in 1982, but with my “male” background and without money, gender change was not then attainable. Going back into the closet, I also quit art school, which I had been attending nights and weekends on the GI Bill, and instead focused on accounting and my SEC career.

That all began to change in May 1995 while attending the opening for a show of stereo cards at Sacramento’s Viewpoint Gallery. There I met and was befriended by the show’s curator, the great stereographer David Lee.

That night I saw my own opportunity. The stereo cards on display were by photographers who did not combine writing with their imagery. If there was text, it was only in the card’s title or back label. The folks weren’t into providing context.

The idea to combine the two, to provide context for the imagery, was “triggered” by childhood memories of my Aunt Pearl’s set of stereo cards. When my family visited her in the mid-1950s I would pore over her set of Keystone’s “Tour of the World.” On the back of each card was an explanation of the scene.

Fueling the idea were articles I wrote for View Camera magazine in 1994 and the pursuit of my own version of Mike Mandel’s Baseball Photographer Cards. Quickly, I took to making “store bought–looking” stereo cards and to letting my fancies fly, as I hope you see they did.

By 1999, my audience had grown to include fellow Stereoscopic Society of America circuit members, annual National Stereoscopic Association convention goers, collectors, Amateur Photographic Exchange Club III members, co-workers, and friends. Also I began outing myself through stereo cards as someone who questioned his own gender.

By late 2000, after attending a crossdressers’ convention, I started my transition in Sacramento, continued in San Francisco, and eventually came out to my employer and supervisors. My change of name to Georgette and gender transition at work culminated in late 2001.

In 2002, my darkroom was dismantled and this chapter of my life ended. But little did I know that stereo cards would be my entrée into the world of book arts, where I now live and work. I retired from the SEC in 2005.

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