Eve Crane, born Evelyn Myrtle Ford, traded growing up time between small Oregon farms and big (for Oregon) cities. City life meant being raised by her alcoholic mother and handed off to relatives. Farm living (with more relatives) meant living away from the city. There is a black and white photo of Eve sitting astride a beautiful pinto pony, her long braided hair hangs to her waist. She wears a neat western shirt with jeans and stares with intent at the camera.Her hand-written caption in silver ink reads: “14 – Life can’t get much worse.”
She marries Leland, gives birth to a girl and a boy, divorces and heads to Hollywood to try her hand at acting.
Endless string of bit parts from South Pacific to Big Country and lesser TV walk-on snippets drives Eve north again to Oregon where she has a whirlwind romance, marriage, baby boy, and divorce.
Fast-forward 5 years to Long Island, NY, her photo taken before a night out on the town on the arm of her new husband and TV star, Les Crane. It is the early ’60’s and Eve’s life is filled with her 3 children, Broadway musicals, POP art openings and happenings, and a steady stream of dinner guests drawn from New York’s brightest artists, actors, and activists. It is at this time Eve takes up photography.
Her third divorce drives her back to the west coast just two years in advance of the Summer of Love: 1967. Eve’s specialty is being able to take photographs in the midst of an unfolding event. She freelances for The Observer, a small bay area newspaper. The simplest of press credentials get her past the first layer of security at many events and headquarters. Her wit, beauty, and bravado get her past most everything else.
Early photo spreads of women exercising for Pageant Magazine quickly give way to assignments and spec articles on the San Francisco Hells Angels, The Black Panthers, Janis Joplin, John Wayne, SF Mayor Joe Alioto, the 1968 SF State student strike, and the Democratic Convention and police riot in Chicago.
Eve’s work appears in Time, Look, Ramparts, Life, and Playboy.
Then clouds roll in as Eve observes, “After the 1968 Democratic Convention everyone disappeared into the woodwork.” Her favored photography subjects were in prison, dead, gone underground, or fled the country. She applies her skills honed on the battlefield of journalistic photography to posed and candid portraiture. She opens Studio 10.
Eve adjusts her model, Harriet
After 35 years of self-imposed silence Eve has opened her archives to be scanned, cataloged, and ultimately presented to the public. In this work we see stunning single frames taken from the movie which catapulted us into the 21st century.