by Mike Roberts?
by Francis Kies
by Franklin Lee Silkey
by Glenn E. Walthall
First seen as Jack arrives for the interview, then as Wendy is moving between radios just past the 1/3 mark of the film, and again right before the 2/3 mark as Jack is heading in to slay the radio. There’s also the matter of how the “summer” photo repeats on the CAMERA WALK billboard. Head here for a deeper analysis of that phenomenon.
A fan of the site provided these for our eyes to feast upon, though the Winter one didn’t have the same clouds, so I searched in vain for a few hours, and just as you might suspect, there’s about two dozen such shots, taken from the same vantage, with all the snow and shadows in the same places, same (or approximately the same) framing, so I’m calling it on Mike Roberts’ 1960s version. Roberts was the only identifiable photographer whose work was most similar. Roberts was considered “America’s postcard king“, for his abundant, and wide-ranging career. When Wendy makes the pass between radio rooms, she passes a TV showing an episode of a German game show called Dalli Dalli, featuring a man named Maxi Böhm, who was known as Austria’s “joke president” for all the thousands of jokes he could tell. So if this is meant as a reference to Roberts, that’s a neat connection. An unofficial king and president adorning these halls. There’s also a woman Jack passes on his way to the interview, Aileen Lewis, who was nicknamed “the duchess” for her regal bearing. She was cast in the background of many shows and films to achieve an authentically sophisticated air. So I guess we’ve got “all the best people” here.
The postcard king bit reminds me of a line from the novel where Danny has entered room 217, and at the top of page 217, a random thought seems to pop into his head: “(having a wonderful time, wish you were fear)” In fact, all of these seem to be photos that were used as postcards at one time or other.
There’s precious little info on any of the other photographers. Spring is by local photographer Francis Kies, whose work also appears in the reception area radio room as well as the US Forest Service later on. All I have to say here is: how cool is it that we’ve got an artists named Kies (sounds like “keys” in English) appearing in multiple locations, when we’ve also got Danny’s lesson and escape keys, or the F21 key? And frankly, these “four seasons” photos are used in the Redrum Road analysis, to better understand the Beatles subtext…and there’s the whole Four Directions business, which is its own kind of key, also having to do with the four seasons.
Summer‘s Franklin Lee Silkey was a local hobbyist who apparently sold a piece or two for international use. His last name does sound exactly like “selkie” the mythological creature capable of shape-shifting between a human woman and a seal. As adorable as that may sound, some of the tales feature them as unsettling figures. And remember, the Summer photo is the one that appears on the CAMERA WALK billboard that starts in the lobby, but moves into the lounge, at the foot of the southwest stair that leads up to room 237, where Jack meets his own shape-shifting woman. Also, this latest Franklin adds to a rather long list of obscure “Frank” references. There’s a couple Johns, Pauls, Jameses, Freds, and Alexes, but only the Johns and Pauls both actually went by that name in their work. And while we do have around thirty pieces left to ID, which could change this little factoid in some way, four Franks (Cattermole, Kies, and Carmichael) seems like a lot.
As for Autumn‘s Glenn Walthall, the major thing that pops up in a search on him is that he wrote a letter into Science News magazine in 1967. Something tells me this is incidental, but that issue did talk about the Apollo moon missions. Something Kubrick was probably reading a lot about at the time. But this is the only photo that I yet know of that features Lost Lake in the image with Mt. Hood. It took on the name Lost thanks to an American hunting and fishing guide who had overlooked the lake in his travels through the region until some indigenous folks showed him the way to find it. The indigenous name translates to “Heart of the Mountain”, which gives us a “heart” reference in the lobby. There’s a “heart” reference in room 237, through the Kingfisher painting of William Matthew Hart.
Also, there’s a song on the movie’s soundtrack called Home, by Henry Hall and the Gleneagles. Hall. Glen. Glenn Walthall. The film’s story takes place (as far as I can tell) from September 22nd to December 14th, so that would almost perfectly span the official season of autumn, in which Jack finds a new (eternal?) “home” for himself.
My last thought on this: reading Francis as “Frank”, this means the Spring and Summer are by a Frank, while Winter and Autumn are by people with different names. If we apply this to the Abbey Road Tour analysis, this means Jack and Wendy are the “Franks”. Then, if we think about the analysis of the vanishing Franklin Carmichael and dog paintings, with their association to “Franks“, could the subtle suggestion there be that Jack and Wendy are like the Grady children to the hotel’s father Grady? Since Wendy survives that seems imperfect, if not unlikely. But it’s food for thought.
Next art reference: The Great Earth Mother