1945. Photograph by Toni Frissell. “Col. Benjamin O. Davis, air base at Rametti, Italy.” This vintage photograph shows the Colonel of the Tuskegee Airmen, Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
14 Portraits from the Lomax Collection
Alan Lomax was a folk music collector for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. He made acetate and aluminum discs of Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, Jelly Roll Morton and other influential early American musicians. Without the ambitious efforts that included Alan’s father, also a musicologist, and his wife Ruby, many important songs and musicians would have remained undiscovered. Vintage photographs on Photistoric.
12 Early Portraits by Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks was a filmaker, photographer, director and musician. Among other achievements, Parks published photographic essays in Life Magazine, wrote novels and directed “Shaft” in 1971. Parks photographed Chicago’s South Side Ghetto in 1941. Those photographs won him a fellowship with the Farm Security Administration, a major sponsor of anthropological photography and an institution which employed many of the photographers featured on Photistoric. The following photographs were taken in 1942 at the beginning of Park’s professional photography career with the FSA. They show a photographer who’s already technically proficient and able to capture the emotion of his working class subjects. Vintage photographs on Photistoric.
All photographs © The Gordon Parks Foundation.
12 American Indian portraits by Edward S. Curtis
J.P. Morgan gave Edward S. Curtis $75,000 to create a series on the American Indian in 1906. Curtis received no salary, the money was for supplies and travel. The project took him nearly 20 years. For Curtis, the project was not simply a photographic diary, but a complete cultural survey. He made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of language and conversation, wrote thousands of notes on everything from tribal lore to architecture and took over 40,000 photographs. Below are over 100 year-old portraits selected from the collection. Vintage Photographs on Photistoric.
20 Historic Photographs by William P. Gottlieb of Jazz Legends
Between 1938 and 1948, William P. Gottlieb was immersed in the jazz scene. He wrote for jazz magazines, jazz columns, had a jazz radio show and took thousands of photographs in jazz clubs. After his death the collection of images were donated to the Library of Congress and released into the public domain in accordance with Gottliebs wishes. Vintage photographs on Photustoric.
15 historic photographs by Russell Lee of Lumberjacks in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s history is synonymous with logging. In 1937, Russell lee traveled to lumber camps in rural Minnesota. Writing to Lee, a friend and fellow photographer said of International Falls Minnesota that as “one of the toughest towns on the border, it is a meeting place of Lumberman, indian traders, trappers, smugglers, immigration and refugee smugglers, and so on. They used to kill a man every morning before breakfast and one just before supper, just for amusement.” The following images were taken by Lee when he was employed by the Farm Security Administration. Vintage Photographs on Photistoric.
17 Historic Photographs of the Greatest Generation.
The 1940s were perhaps the most tumultuous decade in modern American and world history. The United States officially entered World War II in 1942. Countries were restructured and the atrocities of the atomic bomb and the holocaust caused millions of deaths. Isreal was established, as was the United Nations and the NATO forces.
A generation that had just begun to pull away from the Great Depression, now had to prepare for a massive war that took resources and labor away from its country’s depleted coffers. In place of the male workforce, women stepped in at the factories and offices. Photographers from the soon-to-be defunct Farm Security Administration documented war preparations and the new female workforce.
Some of the images during that time were taken on color film. All of the following images are in color and provide an immediacy that is not present in black and white photography. Vintage photographs on Photistoric.
21 Historic Photographs of Baseball: The Greatest Game
Since its inception in the 18th century, baseball has been an incredibly popular sport. Its stars have been revered, hated and loved by the media. In Japan, Puerto Rico and the United States in particular, baseball is inseparable from popular culture. Babe Ruth said “Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.” Vintage Photographs on Photistoric.