Bring back some good or bad memories


November 30, 2021

Around the World in the 1950s and 1960s in Kodachrome

Martin Karplus (born March 15, 1930) is an Austrian and American theoretical chemist. He is the Director of the Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory, a joint laboratory between the French National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Strasbourg, France. He is also the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry, emeritus at Harvard University. Karplus received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel, for “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”.

Karplus has a love for cameras and photography. From the 1950s and 1960s, he traveled to Europe, America and Asia. Intent on recording what he witnessed, Karplus took many pictures during those travels with his Leica. Through his photographs, Karplus wants to “preserve my vision of a world, much of which no longer exists.


“Economic development, universal communication, and war have taken a heavy toll,” wrote Karplus in his essay “Martin Karplus: IMAGES OF THE 1950’s and 1960’s”. “Many of the towns and villages have been destroyed or replaced, everyday costumes of the time are worn only at events for tourists, and much of the social fabric of the communities has been destroyed. Many of the people I photographed belonged to the last generation to live in a way that had lasted for centuries. The areas I visited in Europe and America had their own traditions, many of which have now disappeared as the world has been homogenized.”

Take a look through these stunning Kodachrome photographs of the world in the 1950s and 1960s:

Grand Canyon, Arizona


Near Ohrid, Macedonia

Beaune Hospice, France


Sarajevo, Bosnia

Gallup, New Mexico

Bruges, Belgium

Moselle, Germany

Walpi Pueblo, Arizona


Skopje, Macedonia



Near Metković, Croatia



Titov Veles, Macedonia

Lake Vrensko, near Biograd, Croatia

Iguazu Falls

Cuzco, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Castle Peak, Hong Kong

Uji River, Japan

Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

Brasilia, Brazil

Mexico City, Mexico

Overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Kyoto, Japan


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