Merry Christmas from the Archives of the International Center of Photography!

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Peter Garfield
, Untitled (Christmas Tree), 1996-98 (17.2005)

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Malick Sidibé, Nuit de Noël, 1962 (22.2004)

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Bill Wood, “Greetings from our house to your house, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.” Photo shoot for 25 Christmas cards.  Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Naymond Meyers, 1947 (2010.14.29)

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Holiday, December 1954 (2010.101.12)

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Bread – Baking

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George Rodger, Korongo Nuba women making bread from Dhoura meal in the granary (tukl) room of a Mesakin house, Kordofan, Sudan, 1949 (371.1989)

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Bill Owens, Baker with dough machine, 1974 (2393.2005)

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Leonard McCombe, Baking bread, a woman kneels by the fire while loaf cooks on crude metal grill. This native bread is a major item of Navajo diet, 1948 (1094.2005)

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Dan Israel, This Bronx baker is thrifty but hot because it’s 120 at oven, thrifty because he made diapers out of a flour sack, 1940 (2012.121.17) [This photo was originally published in PM on July 28, 1940, in a ten photo page spread of hot, sweaty men (including Mayor La Guardia) working, illustrating the headline: “They’d Sooner Be at the Beach But, Heat or No Heat, Jobs Are Scarce,” along with one of the greatest Weegee self portraits: “Weegee, the wag, finished up the day by taking his own picture [while showering!] in the darkroom. Note camera release in his hand.”]

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Robert Capa, [Woman baking bread indoors, Aktau, USSR, now Kazakhstan], 1947 (2010.91.468)

“In the kitchen the women put on a show too. The fire roared in the new white oven, and the flat cakes of good rye bread were baking, and the eggs were frying, and the borscht was bubbling. Outside the rain poured down, so we didn’t feel bad, for we were not interfering with their work in harvest time, they couldn’t have been working with the grain anyway.
John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, pp.82-84.

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Robert Capa, [Woman baking bread in a factory, Kiev, now Kyiv, Ukraine], 1947 (2010.91.368)

From the market we went to a gigantic bakery, where the black bread is baked for the whole city. The manager put white coats on us before we could enter. Part of the bakery is in ruins and is being rebuilt and enlarged. The manager told us that while the city was under siege the bakery had continued to work, and even while bombs were falling on the buildings, the ovens had turned out bread.
There were mountains of bread. It was a completely mechanized bakery, with mixers, kneaders, baking ovens all automatic. The great chains of black bread come through the oven and drop off and are piled on the carts to go out to the city.
John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, p. 111.

It’s the middle of the afternoon and I’m just loafing around… Although this post started as a very small joke: a colleague (not a companion, “a person who you eat bread with”) asked what I was blogging about, and just to be funny, I said “bread.” Not surprisingly, the photos related to baking, acquiring, preparing and eating bread, an ancient, fundamental and ubiquitous food, are as nutritious, rich and varied as the language and idioms surrounding bread, and of course, bread itself, in it’s many forms, from baguette to zwieback, from black bread to pretzel croissant, from lavash to naan… In fact, there are so many great bread photos in the archive that it was difficult to choose which to include in this little post; it was so difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, that this is the first part of a projected four part series on bread photos. Fortunately the quantity of bread photos in the archive is rising. Collectively, these documentary photos do not depict the upper crust of society, like a lord (“keeper of bread”) or lady (“kneader of bread”), yet, socially, aesthetically, and financially they are presumably worth a lot of, and document, dough. If it’s true that one cannot live by bread alone, then perhaps one can live on bread and photography. Anachronistically, photography might be the best thing since sliced bread, perhaps instant photography, Polaroid, would make a better sentence… (Robert Capa, a hero to many, made a variety of great photos of people baking bread, mostly in Russia, and eating bread, mostly during the Spanish Civil War, was really on a roll.)

The origin of the word bread: “Old English brēad, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch brood and German Brot.” History of bread on foodtimeline.org
Well, I know which side my bread is buttered on, enough of my stale, crumbly, yet yeasty prose: bread in different languages from Google translate and a link to a Google image search (just another half baked experiment)…
Bon appétit!

brood – Afrikaans
bukë – Albanian
ogia – Basque
hljeb – Bosnian
pa – Catalan
tinapay – Cebuano
kruh – Croatian
chléb – Czech
brød – Danish
brood – Dutch
pano – Esperanto
leib – Estonian
tinapay – Filipino
leipä – Finnish
pain – French
pan – Galician
brot – German
pen – Haitian Creole
gurasa – Hausa
mov ci – Hmong
kenyér – Hungarian

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Flea and Dog Markets

André Kertész, The Flea Market, Paris, 1929 (1.1978.d)

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Leonard Freed, [Man holding umbrella and painting, Waterlooplein Flea Market, Amsterdam, Netherlands.], 1958 (2014.56.23)


Andy Warhol, Flea Market, New York, 1980s (2008.58.143)

Martin Muckacsi, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi, [Dog market, England], 1932 (2007.110.49)

Martin Muckacsi, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi, [Dog market, England], 1932 (2007.110.45)

Martin Muckacsi, glass plate negatives
Martin Munkácsi, [Dog market, England], 1932 (2007.110.57)


Martin Munkácsi’s annotated glass plate negative box, which contained the dog market pictures, 1932.

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Hanukkah 2014

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Roman Vishniac, [Children playing with building blocks during Hanukkah, probably Bronx House, Washington Avenue,The Bronx], early to mid-1940s, © Mara Vishniac Kohn, courtesy International Center of Photography

The Bronx House was established in 1911 to serve the large number of first-generation Jewish-Americans who had moved to the Bronx to escape the crowded conditions of Manhattan tenements. A Jewish settlement house in what was then New York’s most heavily Jewish borough, its goal was to improve the quality of residents’ lives by offering arts, education, and recreation activities within the context of Jewish communal values. In the 1920s, the programming of the Bronx House reflected the radical nature of many Jewish residents, teaching consumer education and establishing retail cooperatives, hosting union meetings, offering night classes in Yiddish, and featuring many left-wing Yiddish speakers in its lecture series. In the 1930s and 1940s, when this photograph was taken, it operated as a Jewish Community Center. Vishniac’s photographs of the Bronx House were probably commissioned by the Jewish Educational Committee (a photograph by Vishniac at the same site appears in one of their pamphlets).

Roman Vishniac Archive, International Center of Photography

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1/2 x 12 x 12 4 12/12

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A. C. McIntyre, Jubilee Singers, ca. 1905 (488.1990)

Fisk University opened in Nashville in 1866 as the first American university to offer a liberal arts education to “young men and women irrespective of color.” Five years later the school was in dire financial straits.
George L. White, Fisk treasurer and music professor then, created a nine-member choral ensemble of students and took it on tour to earn money for the University. The group left campus on October 6, 1871. Jubilee Day is celebrated annually on October 6 to commemorate this historic day… http://www.fiskjubileesingers.org/our_history.html

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Julius Lindsay Schaub, Washerwoman and Family, ca. 1880s-1885 (485.1990)

Less well represented or documented than other occupations, washing was a key form of work among free African Americans in the postwar South. Here, a washerwoman and her large family have filled the yard with newly washed shirts and rugs. The view was taken by Julius L. Schaub, who worked in various cities in Georgia before setting up shop in LaGrange around 1881, where he was active primarily as a portrait photographer.

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Jacob Riis, Police Station Lodgings – Men West 47th St., ca. 1888-1889 (177.1982)

Last year they [the police lodging houses] furnished altogether 147,637 lodgings, and nearly twice as many during the winter months, when there was no chance of ventilation as in the summer. On a certain cold night last week…577 homeless men and women slept in them. On that night [there were] 12 men and 11 women in West 47th Street…[there] ballot booths and other trappings of election business crowded the men’s lodging-room…A dozen shabby men snored among the lumber wherever they could find room, flat on the wooden floor, with their feet toward the stove. As many women sat or lay about in the room across the hall…
Jacob A. Riis, New York Tribune, January 31, 1892

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William Adams Bibbins, [Norfolk Colored Stars], ca. 1910 (1390.1990)

The Norfolk Colored Stars were an African American touring baseball team from Norfolk, Virginia. They played in forty-two states and Canada during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, prior to the establishment of the Negro League in 1920. These men would not have been able to play with or against white baseball players due to the formal banning of blacks from baseball teams in 1887. Bibbins, an African American photographer, operated a studio in Brooklyn, New York, from 1900 to 1933.

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Unidentified Photographer, [Unidentified men], ca. 1900s (1377.1990)

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Weegee, [City Services Building], 1945 (16473.1993)

The City Services Building’s lower six floors were serviced by escalators. The twelve women in white uniforms are members of the City Services Building’s all-female corps of elevator attendants; the man and two women in dark uniforms are [double-deck] elevator operators (AKA “starters”). The 66-story City Services Building is located at 70 Pine Street.

(Fascinating “Streetscapes” article about the Art Deco City Service Building, currently being transformed from an office to a residential building, and “…the accomplishment of a grade-school dropout…” is here.)

Half of twelve photos of twelve people per photo, on the twelfth day of the twelfth month…

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Miss Disfarmer

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Mike Disfarmer, Agnes, Alice, Bessie, Costilla, Ethel, Gracie, Jewell, Jodie, Lona, May, Marie, Nettie, Ora, Pauline, Thelma, Vivian , and Unidentified Women, ca. 1940s

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He Kills Me

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Donald Moffett, He Kills Me, 1987. Published by ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) (1253.1990)

As the AIDS epidemic spread, activists criticized the Reagan administration for ineffectively responding to the disease. In particular, they were concerned that the administration was underfunding AIDS research and obstructing prevention efforts by opposing sex education. These concerns were exacerbated by Reagan’s public silence about the disease until 1987, when he made his first speech on the subject. Later that year, Reagan yielded to pressure from Congress and organized the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic. However, scientists and AIDS activists were skeptical of the recommendations the commission’s appointed members would provide to the President due to their lack of expertise. For the third in a series of demonstrations that ACT UP organized against the commission, Donald Moffett made this poster of Reagan, with words that concisely communicated the group’s thoughts about the President’s effect on AIDS patients.

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Silence = Death Project, AIDSGATE, 1987. Published by ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) (1277.1990)

“AIDSGATE
The Political Scandal Must be Investigated!
54% of perople with AIDS in NYC are Black or Hispanic… AIDS is the No. 1 Killer of women between the ages of 24 and 29 in NYC… By 1991, more people will have died of AIDS than in the entire Vietnam War… WHat is Reagan’s real policy on AIDS?
Genocide of all Non-whites, Non-males, and Non-heterosexuals?
SILENCE = DEATH”

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GANG, AIDS Crisis, ca. 1991. Published by ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). (1188.2000)

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Gran Fury, New York Crimes, 1989 (1171.2000)

“AIDS and Money: / Healthcare or Wealthcare? / Decisions Made / Disregard the Sick”
“THOUSANDS OF / NEW YORKERS MAY BE / DYING IN THE STREETS / STATE’S HIGHEST COURT FINDS CITY LEGALLY / RESPONSIBLE”
“WOMEN AND AIDS: / OUR GOVERNMENT’S / WILLFUL NEGLECT”
“N.Y. HOSPITALS IN RUINS; / CITY HALL TO BLAME”
“KOCH FUCKS UP AGAIN”
“Inmates with AIDS: / Inadvertent Political Prisoners”
“What About People of Color? Race Effects Survival”

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Mark Golebiowski, Health and Human Service: Trial of the Reagan Administration, October 11, 1988 (1299.2000)

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Mark Golebiowski, FDA Action, October 11, 1988 (1281.2000)

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Meryl Levin, City Hall: AIDS Hall of Shame, ACTION Tours, 1990 (1284.2000)

Today, December 1, 2014 is Worlds Aids Day. See additional selections from ICP’s AIDS Graphics Archive here.

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