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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Ole Misses: 1935

Ole Misses: 1935

October 1935. Natchez, Mississippi. "Two women walking along the street." 35mm negative by Ben Shahn for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Huwwy Back Home

Dat mean old puddy tat twying to EAT Tweety!

Art Imitating Art

From Ben Shahn's biography on the LOC website:

Shahn's casual attitude about matters of photographic technique stemmed from his use of photographs as a basis for drawings and paintings. He tended to think of his compact 35 mm Leica as a mechanical sketchpad. Despite the fact that some of his Resettlement Administration photographs were exhibited as early as 1936, Shahn continued to insist that they "weren't just photographs to me: in a real sense they were the raw materials of painting."

Ben Shahn Painting

Ben Shahn (1898-1969) is perhaps better known as a Social Realist painter. Apparently his own photographs provided some subject material for his paintings. His 1939 painting titled "Self Portrait Among Church Goers" clearly shows the two women in this photograph transposed to the two female figures on the left side of the group in the painting.

Art imitating art?

Stud Tobacco

You can pick up a drawstring pouch of Stud smoking tobacco on Ebay. It will cost a bit more than five cents.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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