Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amazing Pictures Of New York City In The Early 1900s

New York, like most older American cities, has changed plenty over the centuries.

But one ever-present trait is the city's photogenic nature: it's the backdrop of many a tourist photo, Hollywood movie, and music video.

This urban beauty even extends back to the early 1900s. The Library of Congress affords us the opportunity to look back at New York when it was just entering the 20th century.

What was life like in 1900? How have some of our favorite landmarks changed? And what looks remarkably the same?

City Hall, Manhattan

Coney Island

Federal Hall

Times Square

Union Square, flower market

Railroad Armored Cars in Saigon, 1969






Amazing Vintage Photos of Egypt from the 1870s

The New York Public Library has shared an incredible gallery of over 9,000 photographs and illustrations of the Middle East from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century. These include, books, albums and archival compilations.

Monuments of ancient Egypt and the Biblical world figured prominently in the early years of photography. French Academician François Arago (1786-1853) endorsed the new medium in 1839 claiming it would provide a labor-saving means “to copy the millions and millions of hieroglyphics which entirely cover the great monuments at Thebes, Memphis and Carnac, etc.” Immediately artist-travelers took chemicals, cameras, and photographic plates of metal, and later glass into the regions around the southeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, to record the famous sights that had been known previously to Westerners only through the intervention of the artist’s hand.

In addition to early photographic pioneers Du Camp, Salzmann, Robertson & Beato, and Frith, the collection includes work by image providers catering to tourist travelers in the last third of the 19th century, such as Arnoux, A. Beato, Bonfils, Lekegian, Sébah, and Zangaki. The selection offers resources for exploring Western impressions of the Middle East in that era through the lens of practitioners of the new medium of photography, and in turn through the expectations, preferences, and assumptions of its consumers.

Below is a curated selection of 30 photographs of Egypt from 1870-1875. Enjoy!






Monday, November 28, 2011

1970’s America Was Groovy






Paris, 1940s - 1950s, by Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne – April 1, 1994) was a French photographer. In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris; together with Henri Cartier-Bresson he was a pioneer of photojournalism. He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville), a photo of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. Robert Doisneau was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the National Order of the Légion d'honneur in 1984. [Wikipedia]






Mid-Century Buildings






Sunday, November 27, 2011

Picasso painting in light, 1949







Omaha, Nebraska, November 1938 by John Vachon

I spent a cold November week in Omaha and walked a hundred miles. Was it Kearney Street where unemployed men sat all day on the steps of cheap hotels? A tattoo parlor, and the city mission with its soup kitchen. Men hanging around the stockyards. One morning I photographed a grain elevator: pure sun-brushed silo columns of cement rising from behind CB&Q freight car. The genius of Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler welded into one supreme photographic statement, I told myself. Then it occurred to me that it was I who was looking at the grain elevator. For the past year I had been sedulously aping the masters. And in Omaha I realized that I had developed my own style with the camera. I knew that I would photograph only what pleased me or astonished my eye, and only in the way I saw it.
John F. Vachon (May 19, 1914 – April 20, 1975) was an American photographer. He worked as a filing clerk for the Farm Security Administration before Roy Stryker recruited him to join a small group of photographers, including Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, who were employed to publicize the conditions of the rural poor in America.

Cars and parking meters

Nebraska is the white spot of the nation

Danbaum armored car

On a streetcar

Unemployed men who ride the freight trains from Omaha to Kansas City and St. Louis and back

Daily Life in Saigon, Vietnam around 1900s

A street in 1866

At a market (1890)


Vendors (1890)

Pedestrians (1900)