Hal (Halberstadt) photographed many subjects…even fire and soap-bubbles! Here, below, is the full series of a collaboration of Bruce Butte, Lowell Herrero, Bill Hyde and Milton Halberstadt…for Inland Steel. Hal’s spotlights and shadows…a perfect touch!
These eight constructions were created at the Belli Building, 722 Montgomery Street in BH&H’s second floor studio…and photographed just a few blocks away in Hal’s studio on Vallejo Street.
It was 1964, and my first and only art studio employment, when I witnessed this creation.
I felt lucky to have the assignment of gathering the elements for these fanciful constructions. I was sent to the costume, yardage and novelty store at the foot of Powell Street (someone will remember its name) for bits and pieces for the costumes. Then (I always chose to walk) I was sent to the huge, barnlike, hardware store on Battery Street to pick up some sheets of steel! When I arrived there, I found a variety, each at 3’ X 4’! They had only brown wrapping paper around the sides. Thinking that I could carry them, I headed back. I could carry them only a few feet and then I would have to rest…all along the route back to the Belli Building. I was afraid to split the load for fear of racing back to find the others sheets gone. (In 1964, a working girl wore a dress or suit. Shoes with at least a low heel but no athletic shoes in downtown San Francisco and no cell phone to call for help). Entering the Belli Building gate…I didn’t have to take the flight of stairs, up to the BH&H studio. There was a freight elevator. Then just three steps up to the studio door. BH&H were (literally) out to lunch, so they never new exactly how their purchase of the steel sheets was delivered.
Being a “gofer,” receptionist, art supply purchaser, “luci” operator, paste-up artist…and occasional illustrator…(I got to paint the tattoos on the “Tattooed Lady”) I believed that I was blessed to be working there, that year, before BH&H dissolved their partnership. It was the most wonderful experience for me. I would have never started my more than forty years of free-lancing if they had stayed together where I could’ve assisted them with their work.
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