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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Divining Mrs. M: 1936

Divining Mrs. M: 1936

Circa 1936. "Muschenheim, William, Mrs., portrait photograph." Wife of the modernist architect. Nitrate negative by Arnold Genthe. View full size.

With earnest supplication,

an addition to the pretty girls tag.

Be it ever so moderne

The William and Elizabeth Muschenheim house. Ann Arbor, MI


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Divined

Mrs. Muschenheim was born Elizabeth Bodanzky, daughter of Artur Bodanzky, a conductor of the Metropolitan Opera of New York. William Muschenheim was the son of Artur, who was the general manager of the Astor Hotel.

House on the Dunes

A photo presumably taken at William Muschenheim's estate "House on the Dunes," in Hampton Bays, New York. It would have been only a few years old at the time. The real highlight of the estate was its Modernist bath house, which fell victim to a hurricane in 1954. As far as I can tell, the main house itself is no longer standing.

Note: the picture wouldn't have been from the Ann Arbor house seen in another response, as the family didn't move to Michigan until 1950, when William became a professor at the University of Michigan. He retired as a professor in 1972 but remained active in the architectural field until he died in 1990 at age 88.

Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds do not a prison make. By the 50s the slats had gone to slightly down-curved (for stiffness) metal.

The other parts were identical.

[Those aluminum-slat blinds were mostly for office and institutional use. The nicer ones were (and still are) flat and wooden, as in the 1958 house I grew up in. - Dave]

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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