Gene Laughter 1932-2017

Gene Laughter – a retired advertising director and bromoil artist has passed away in February 2017. Here is his gallery in memorial to him.
From: Richmond, VA, USA.
Shows: Bromoils.

Gene Laughter was now pursuing the bromoil process as a Fine Art photographer and printer. Gene held workshops on the subject, lectures at colleges, universities and photographic societies, was the founder of the International Society of Bromoilists and has won several awards for his work. As if that wasn’t enough, he also wrote, in various publications, and is the author of Bromoil 101 – a “how to” manual and producer of the videotape Beginners and Advanced Bromoil Inking.

Gene said about his work:


“For me, Bromoil is a highly experimental art medium and I am not wedded to the strict traditional methodology and doctrines often associated with the process.”

From the family:
Robert Gene Laughter
“Swink”
August 20, 1932 – February 14, 2017
North Myrtle Beach

Robert Gene Laughter, 84, husband of Nadine Nanney Laughter, of North Myrtle Beach, SC, passed away Tuesday, February 14, 2017, after a brief illness. He was born on August 20, 1932, in North Wilkesboro, NC, to the late Robert Edgar and Mae Irvin Laughter.

After growing up in Albemarle, NC, and graduating from high school there, Gene attended UNC Chapel Hill and Pfieffer College (now Pfieffer University), took graduate courses at the University of Michigan in Art and Design, and served in the U.S. Army at Camp Gordon, GA. He enjoyed a lengthy career as an advertising executive, 35 of those years spent at Heilig-Meyers Co. in Richmond, VA.

In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by three daughters: Kimberly L. Smith, of Richmond, VA, Leslie L. Ellmore (Roger), of Roanoke, VA, and Erin L. Philpy (Brooke), of Mechanicsville, VA; son, Robert Bryan Laughter, of Richmond, VA; nine grandchildren: Matthew, Sara-Scott, Allie, Zachary, Maggie, Lawson, Camden, Olivia, and Anna; two sisters: Janice L. Sullivan (John), of Greensboro, NC, and Susan L. Meyers (Blue), of Givhans, SC; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Ever two romantics, Gene and Nadine married 62 years ago in Chester, SC, in an early-February ceremony with a Valentine’s theme. The two first met at Ocean Drive, where he was a lifeguard, and they always felt sentimentally attached to the area. For years they have enjoyed many friendships in the large local beach community, where Gene was known by the nickname “Swink”; and each summer he and Nadine brought the family to Ocean Drive for vacations. In 1980 he and friend Tom Lilly, along with a committee of friends—with publicity help from Charlotte Observer reporters Jerry Bledsoe and Kays Gary—organized the S.O.S. migration as a reunion for “beach bums,” former lifeguards, and shaggers, a celebration which increased in size and is still ongoing. After living in Richmond for most of their adult lives, Gene and Nadine moved to North Myrtle Beach almost three years ago. He explained the move in a metaphorical way: “Like elephants we’re returning to our old stomping grounds for our sunset days.” He died there on Valentine’s Day.

Through the years Gene was a Renaissance man with a variety of interests and hobbies. In his younger years he was an avid saltwater fisherman and tennis/squash player as a member at Westwood Racquet Club. Other long-time interests included collecting antique rubber stamps, sharks’ teeth and fossils, jazz music/posters, and store mannequins (for use as photo props). His greatest artistic passion was photography and bromoil, an early-twentieth century photographic process that uses a stippling technique. For his mastery of bromoil he was known far and wide. Not only did he create and sell his own bromoil photography, but he also taught workshops in the technique to further the interest of it in America; and he published Bromoil 101, a guidebook to the process. He was greatly influenced by British techniques of bromoil, and he was the first foreigner invited to be a member of England’s Bromoil Circle.
Most of all, Gene loved his family and life at the beach—both which he was reluctant to leave; but to the end he remained true to his often-stated motto, “Onward!”

One thought on “Gene Laughter 1932-2017

  1. Gene Laughter wrote the Bromoil chapter in my book, New Dimensions in Photo Processes. What a generous man! As I finish the 5th edition, I miss him more and more….
    Laura Blacklow

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