Friday, August 8, 2014


Several years ago the book THE PAINTED BACKDROP was published by  It was the first book to tell the story of the relationship between photographers and painters during the early days of photography.  How did folk art portrait painters deal with the invention of the camera?  Were they replaced?  Or did they co-exist with those using cameras?  Did they in fact begin painting backdrops in photography studios instead???   The book is available in print or Ebook ($5.99) from Blurb.

EACH OF THE 30 LOTS LISTED NOW CONSIST OF THE TINTYPES USED AS EXAMPLES IN THE BOOK which showed unusual painted backdrops or use as examples of the relationship between painters and photography studios.    NOTE: the first photograph here was lightened a bit to show detail.  The actual piece is darker (as are all tintypes)
Nearly all listed were previously shown in the book and are from the same collection.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Jim Linderman Interviewed on Tintype Collecting from Collectors Quest Deanna Dahlsad

Jim Linderman, author of The Painted Backdrop Interview from Collectors Quest 6/13/11


"Brady’s fame came about because of the Civil War. We forget that was only a few generations ago, and it truly was the defining moment in our history. The phrase “brother against brother” is tossed around a bit today, but it was real, it was brutal and it took thousands and thousands of young men right here on our shores. If there is anything sacred left, it is the battlefields of that war and there are efforts in place to preserve them today. If a Wal-mart built where my relative dropped his musket and bled to death, I would personally picket the place."


Browse and purchase The Painted Backdrop HERE

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Painted Backdrop Author Jim Linderman Interviewed in Collector's Weekly

Homespun Beauty: Jim Linderman on Folk Art’s Authentic Appeal

By Maribeth Keane and Bonnie Monte September 2010 Click above for full text.

For collector, blogger, and author Jim Linderman, beauty is all about the imperfections, which is why he’s so attracted to folk art. In this wide-ranging interview, Linderman talks about his favorite folk-art pieces he’s collected over the years, explains why he just can’t stand the phrase “outsider art,” and reveals what drew him to vintage photographs of circus freaks and glamour girls. Linderman can be reached via Dull Tool Dim Bulb.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Review The Painted Backdrop Tintype Book by Jim Linderman

Review The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photograpy 1860-1920
by Jim Linderman
From the Photogram Vol. 38 No. 2 October 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Review of The Painted Backdrop By Jim Linderman from Anonymous Works by Joey Lin

Review of Jim Linderman The Painted Backdrop by Joey Lin Anonymous Works

View Original Review with Additional photographs HERE
Slogging through the dross of daily online auctions, I'm used to being disappointed 99% of the time. Cyber-picking can be a sort of self-flagellation, but when you find a hidden jewel the payoff makes it all worth it. I sort of feel the same way with self-published books. The theory is good, with online sites like Lulu and Blurb giving us all the ability to become published authors. Unfortunately, as I've browsed through the majority of self-published titles available, most are of the "these are my best Aruba shots" photo books that, while sometimes beautiful, leave me a little unfulfilled.

Fortunately there are others, like Jim Linderman, who look at the technology as an opportunity to expose the hidden corners of old (sometimes weird) America. Like Jimmy Allen's seminal book on lynching in America, Linderman has a knack for discovering untold stories and introducing them to a wider audience. His latest book, The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920, tells the previously untold story of 19th century painters who painted the backdrops of the then ubiquitous tintype photos. It's an incredibly interesting history and you suddenly find yourself looking for the subject behind the subject.

The Painted Backdrop is one of two of Linderman's books currently in the running for a People's Choice Award in the Photography category of What's great is that for a limited time you'll be able to preview and read the entire books.

The Painted Backdrop Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920
Click Here to preview the book and vote!

Camera Club Girls Bettie Page and her Friends: The Work of Rudolph Rossi
Click Here to preview the book and vote!

If you like them (which I'm sure you will), make sure to put a vote in before August 20th!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jim Linderman Camera Club Girls and The Painted Backdrop

FOR A LIMITED TIME (until August 20) TWO OF MY BOOKS are available for FULL VIEWING at FOR FREE!

Full Text and All the Photographs! Both CAMERA CLUB GIRLS and THE PAINTED BACKDROP are up for an award, and this not only gives you an opportunity to see the whole books FOR FREE, you can VOTE for me and help make me famous (er)

YOU CAN VIEW EACH BOOK FOR FREE but only vote for ONE. Have fun, spread the word! Just remember to VOTE.

Bettie Page and her...
By Jim Linderman

Behind the Sitter i...
By Jim Linderman DUL...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Behind the Sitter Tintype Photography from the Back Jim Linderman The Painted Backdrop

Page from The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920
by Jim Linderman

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Painted Backdrop by Jim Linderman Tintype

From the Book The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter In American Tintype Photography 1860-1920 by Jim Linderman

Untitled (Painting the Backdrop) Anoymous Tintype Photograph, circa 1870 Collection Jim Linderman

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Painted Backdrop Tintype Photography BOOK

Available NOW! The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography The previously untold story of 19th century painters and their influence on American photography during the tintype era. Never before examined in detail, the book contains over 75 rare, unpublished original tintype photographs from the Jim Linderman collection. A Grammy nominated writer and collector who has been called "the perfect subject for a Harvey Pekar comic" this book is informed with Linderman's wit and continues his examination of previously overlooked art and photography subjects. 80 Pages, 8' x 10" with essays by Jim Linderman and Kate Bloomquist. Linderman's most recent photography book was Camera Club Girls which tells the story of the amateur photographers who met to take nude photographs during the 1950s, discovered model Bettie Page, and started a revolution in erotic art...all through the work of one never before published artist.

Behind the Sitter i...
By Jim Linderman DUL...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Independent Book Art and Photography Publisher Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Directory and Links to ever-expanding publisher of odd, offbeat, unusual and authentic vintage art and vintage photography books by Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books and Jim Linderman.

#1 Gals Gams Garters reconstructs a 1950s scrapbook put together by an anonymous aficionado of the leg which was found in a Dumpster in Virginia.

#2 Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden contains over 100 original vintage unique photographs depicting nude women all engaged in hiding their identity in manners indicated by the title.

#3 In Situ: American Folk Art in Place documents a large collection of photographs and real photo postcards showing American folk art objects, environments and their makers. Included are carnival signs, religious objects, weathervanes, whirligigs and more.

#4 Camera Club Girls: Bettie Page, her Friends and the Work of Rudolph Rossi tells the story of the secret and informal camera clubs of the 1950s through the work of previously unknown amateur photographer and artist Rudolph Rossi. The artist took photographs of Bettie Page and her friends and meticulously hand-painted each photo to create an unreal, personal world.

#5 American Portraits: Midwest Mundane 100 vernacular photograph portraits taken by an anonymous Michigan photographer in the late 1940s

Forthcoming Dull Tool Dim Bulb projects include "Wondrous World of Wendt" which will show over 100 never seen original antique photographs taken by carnival and sideshow photographer Frank Wendt in the 1890s and "The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photographs" which will be the first book to discuss the relationship between painters and photographers in the early days of photography.

The physical book is disappearing quickly, but editor, collector and iconoclast Jim Linderman sees these small and beautiful books as art projects more than traditional publications. The printed page has many drawbacks not found in digital environments, yet there are still reasons to document and share collections in printed form. Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books fills that need by creating instant collectibles with a quirky, unique quality, all containing physical objects of authenticity and value.

The book publishing arm of Dull Tool Dim Bulb is DULL TOOL DIM BULB BOOKS

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Situ: American Folk Art in Place (New Book from Dull Tool Dim Bulb)

While work goes forth on The Painted Backdrop, please have a look at the most recent book from the collection of Jim Linderman, In Situ: American Folk Art in Place. Well over 100 antique and vintage photographs collected by Linderman show the most unusual, curious and beautiful American Folk Art in location and being made long ago. The author is a Grammy-nominated artist whose photo collection was used to produce the well-known "Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography" release still in print and soon to be a major museum exhibit in New York city. This is the third book of photographs in the Dull Tool Dim Bulb series. More information on the author is available at his hub site Dull Tool Dim Bulb and on his many other art, culture and photography sites. Available as a 112 page Hardcover book with jacket, and softcover. Many of the photographs are early "Real Photo Postcards" which are over 100 years old and have not been seen before. A major collection being shown and shared for the first time. Taking the most broad definition of "Folk Art" the volume contains circus sideshow banners, religious signs, eccentric yard environments and huge sculptural objects as well as more traditional American folk art forms as the whirligig, wood carvings, and whimsical objects all collected over a 25 year period. Available from Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books. Free Preview at left along with other Linderman books.