Coat Hanger Copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Coat Hanger Copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli jr. mr

This photograph (actually one similar, since the original was a one-of-a-kind) was the first photograph I had accepted into a museum.

The story behind it is an interesting one. I had taken the photograph with a Hasselblad 500CM in the coat room at the company I was working for as a process cameraman. I didn’t like one of the work prints I had made at home, so I trashed it partially processed.

When I was emptying the trash can in my darkroom later that week, I noticed the print of the coat hanger had become solarized. It had also developed an interesting stained patina from the chemicals. So, I pulled it out of the trash and finished processing it. I dry mounted it and put it in my portfolio.

A while later, I was showing some of my prints at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Back in the day, you could actually get the curator on the phone to set an appointment!) The then curator of photography liked the coat hanger photo and it was put in LACMA‘s permanent collection. I didn’t tell the curator the story behind it. But sometimes our mistakes can still pan out.