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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Picnic in the Park: 1939

Picnic in the Park: 1939

August 1939. "Grants Pass, Oregon. 'California Day.' A picnic in town park on the Rogue River. Hot summer afternoon." Photo by Dorothea Lange. View full size.

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Times have certainly changed.

Back in the day, even for a picnic you were dressed good enough to attend church. My great grandmother would have been aghast if you were seen outside without a hat. "You'd fry your brain!". I've had friends ask me about seeing women dressed in evening gowns and such on the streets of New Orleans, and I have to gently suggest to them that those probably weren't women. Women just haven't dressed like that in over 50 years. We've gotten far less formal than a family picnic like this would have been. Having said that, the woman on the far right looks like "a rebellious youth" must have been like back then. She's not particularly young though.

Outdoor elegance

I love the fresh flowers for the picnic table. Such a nice touch, should be a good day for everyone.

Pastorale in Four Flats

Ignoring the adults obviously made dour from the oppressive heat, the little girl and baby present a captivating image. Charity requires that we assume that a splendid lunch reposes beneath that sheet, and not a corpse with legs drawn up from rigor.

Is it just me, or...

Am I the only one who has never, until this photo, seen the kind of happiness like on that little girl's face in a Lange photo?

Pendleton blanket

That looks like a Pendleton Indian trade blanket those kids are sitting on. And don't you wonder what's under that cloth on the table?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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