SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Farmboy: 1938

Farmboy: 1938

Summer 1938. "Son of Virgil Thaxton, farmer, in Thaxton farmhouse near Mechanicsburg, Ohio." 35mm nitrate negative by Ben Shahn. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Maybe the roses aren't real. I remember that back in the 1950's we made roses and other flowers out of crepe paper. My mother was very good at it and the flowers looked real. It was fun to help her with the petals as the crepe paper was stretched out with your fingers after it was cut into a petal shape. Sometimes the "flowers" were dipped in wax to give them a sheen.

Love the smile

This ia a wonderful photo! Off-balance in a technical way, or not, but it conveys so much.

It's all about


What a wonderful photograph.

Aspect ratio

All the Ben Shahn pix are in this distinctive wide-screen aspect ratio. Was this the format the pix were shot in? Did he purposely crop them this way afterwards?

Seems unusual for the era, but maybe it is just my film-school blinders.

[This uncropped photo shows standard 35mm roll film proportions. - Dave]

So modern

What a beautiful photograph, and an extraordinarily modern composition (to my amateur eyes).


Cut flowers are a civic virtue.

Wonderful picture

He's a cute kid; he would be about 81 or 82 now. The picture of Jesus is fitting, with Lent beginning tomorrow.

Rule of thirds

What an impressive photo. I am struck by it's simplicity and efficient use of the rule of thirds.

Pride of Place

Looks like a nice radio just behind the young lad.

[Let's not forget Jesus. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD 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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