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The Child City: 1948

The Child City: 1948

Spring 1948. Mooseheart, Illinois. "Children at Mooseheart, an orphanage run by the charitable organization Loyal Order of Moose." From a series of photos taken by Stanley Kubrick, the future film director, for "Mooseheart -- The Child City," an article in the June 8, 1948, issue of Look magazine. View full size.


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Stil Thriving

Mooseheart is still there and still thriving, a very respected institution in the Fox Valley area. The children are not necessarily orphans, just children of Moose members "whose families are unable ... to care for them."

Still going strong

Mooseheart Child City is still there, and still doing the same work. I drive past it on US 31 all the time.

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Peeking-around redhead kid has a little smile going on. But this is Kubrick, remember? Difficult for anyone to still be smiling on the 43rd take.

It makes me sad

Nary a smile among these beautiful children.

Hairs Looking at You Kid

If you are a girl you get haircut A.
If you are a boy you get haircut B.

The girl in the bright yellow must be a new arrival. She and the two girls in the fourth row haven't gotten their hair cut yet.

Rapt Attention

What was Stanley Kubrick, or someone else, doing to get such rapt attention from such young children?


Maybe it's just the effect of similar hairstyles and clothing, but a lot of these children certainly seem to resemble each other. There have been at least one very prolific but not- so-responsible Moose in the wartime midwest.

Two decades to Space Odyssey

Twenty years later these Munchkins will be down at the Bijou tripping out on Stanley's "2001 a Space Odyssey." I wonder if they'll know it's the same nice man who took their picture.

Wish I could go back in time and make them safe

I hope that all of them found good homes.

A Common Thread

I just realized how similarly the children are dressed: the girls mainly in floral prints (except for the gal in the bright yellow dress), and the boys mainly in striped shirts of various colors, and denim pants with suspender like straps over the shoulders.

Mooseheart was almost a kind of insurance

Back when lodges were popular, it was not uncommon for the fraternal organizations to have homes for the widows and families of members. The Oddfellows took care of widows of members, and the Moose had Mooseheart for kids. My dad kept his Moose membership valid long after we no longer lived near a lodge so that if anything happened to him we'd have someplace to go.

What Lovely Faces!

I was born in February 1948, so these children are only a few years older than I.

The sad, shy, almost scared looks (one girl is covering her eyes) on their faces is heartbreaking. They appear to be well looked after.

I was fortunate to grow up in a home with loving parents; I pray that these children all eventually found a home of their own.

Easter candy

By Fanny Farmer. Here's a box with the same art.

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