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About

The Fading Ad Campaign began as a photographic project documenting vintage mural ads on building brickfaces in New York City spanning nearly a century. It has become a metaphor for survival for me since, like myself, many of these ads have long outlived their expected life span. Although this project doesn’t deal directly with HIV/AIDS, it is no accident I’ve chosen to document such a transitory and evanescent subject. Of the hundreds of ads I’ve photographed, many have already been covered up, vandalized, or destroyed. But still many silently cling to the walls of buildings, barely noticed by the rushing passersby.

This blog was originally designed to be a cross-curricular instructional tool, emphasizing science & technology while examining media literacies and cultural movements. Fading Ad Blog has since grown to become a collaboration with urban archaeologist around the country and from here in Brooklyn as well. Check out the Assignments Page!

Omega Oil was the first fading ad that I photographed. I don’t remember ever noticing them before this. A friend from my photography class called me up and asked if I would walk with him through Harlem to photograph friezes & other architectural details since I had lived there before and he wasn’t comfortable walking with his camera alone. When I noticed the sign, I asked Arthur if he had seen other signs like this before. Terms like ghost signs were not in my lexicon. I was a novice. What was unimaginable at the time was the kaleidoscopic journey on which these signs would take me: From scouring the five boros with Vincenzo in 1997, to a 1999 cross country road trip that would have me sleeping on the floors and couches of the likes of Wm Stage (Ghost Signs) and Tod Swormstedt (American Sign Museum). A minor show at the N-Y Historical Society that got major press on the front pages of the NY Times. The valuable & instructive collaborations with other urban archaeologists like Kevin Walsh & Walter Grutchfield. And wonderful attention from journalists around the globe. The journey continues with the writing and publishing of the book that will feature 75 images from the inception of the project that was shot on chrome. I call it the Fading Ad Campaign’s Chrome Age. Thank you all for your support in this project.

Share your fading ads & comments!

Frank H. Jump is a Flatbush, Brooklyn artist/teacher/resident.

133 Comments

  1. Hi Frank,

    I hope that you are doing well. I happened across your blog and really loved your photographs. I am a partner in a co-working space in Worcester and wanted to see if you ever allow your photos to be used on websites. I’m particularly interested in photos Heywood Boot & Shoe Company. Please let me know.

    Thanks in advance!
    Brenna

    1. fadingad says:

      Dear Brenna- Just explain how they will be used and credit them accordingly (Fading Ad Blog © Frank H. Jump) and link them back to my site. If the use of the image are to bring in revenue, remember that I do accept donations. Thank you for your interest in my work and I look forward to hearing back from you soon. – Frank

  2. Mr Busyhands says:

    My RSS reader is complaining that your feed address is invalid (and so has not been following the feed).
    Are others having this problem, or is it just me?

    1. fadingad says:

      http://www.fadingad.com/fadingadblog/?feed=rss2

      I think this is the right one. The RSS button on top doesn’t have the =rss2 extension. Trying to figure out how to reconfigure.

    2. fadingad says:

      I believe I fixed it. Let me know if you still have trouble. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Miller White says:

    Frank!
    Incredible subject, depths far reaching into our souls if we just stop. Think. Feel. Look around us.
    I hope you are well my friend.
    I am happy I stumbled upon your site! Thank You!

    Miller

    1. fadingad says:

      Thank you Miller. Please do come back again!

  4. Amanda Perkins says:

    Hi there

    I am a photo researcher currently working for Pearson, school book publishing house. I have a Caribbean English Grade 4 text book and one brief is for a specific Wrigleys Spearmint gum advert circa 1911. It shows a small child saying to their nanny “No excuses – I want a penny now for Wrigleys Spearmint”

    The author has written a whole exercise around this advert so I am writing to find out if it would be possible to obtain permission to use it and if so do you have a high res version (preferably 1MB plus at 300 dpi minimum) ? Also would there be a charge for the permission and if so how much?

    Many thanks in anticipation of your reply.

    Amanda

    1. fadingad says:

      Dear Amanda- Sounds like a fascinating project. I would love to oblige but I don’t know of which image you are speaking. Can you provide a link to the image so I can ascertain if it is indeed mine. Thanks! Frank

    2. fadingad says:

      I took the image of the painted sign on the wall but the actual print ad is not my ownership. Since it is over a hundred years old, I think it is public domain.

  5. Allen Tobias says:

    What is your email address

  6. Allen Tobias says:

    Frank, I cannot find your email address and wish to send something to you.

    Allen Tobias, Brooklyn

    1. fadingad says:

      Hey Allen- I’m assuming this message was left before you emailed me. Frank

  7. jason says:

    the mafia burned down BDC to park cement mixers there.

  8. Gitty says:

    Can I have your email address ?

  9. Gitty says:

    Regarding the post for “London Motors Service – Dodge – 475 Flushing Avenue – Williamsburg, Brooklyn”, quite interesting, as I’m the owner of this building.
    Would you know of anyone that would have an interest in purchasing that sign?

    1. fadingad says:

      You could probably donate it to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati (Tod Swormstedt, founder) for a tax deduction.

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