A brilliant computer engineer by profession, a fountain designer by fame, Nick DeWolf was a most prolific amateur photographer, capturing the 20th century existence through decades and continents. Lucky for us, a dedicated archivist from Seattle has been tirelessly digitizing his photographs. As DeWolf’s Flickr collection nears 50,000, let’s take another nostalgic little trip through 1975 New York City via reel #66. See anti-war and anti-pornography demonstrations in Times Square, Yakuza films playing on 42nd Street, teeming bookstores, adult magic shows, Central Park pigeon feeders, Chinatown children, and a few fabulously dressed ladies strolling though Midtown in our slideshow.
These photos were taken by a billboard/graphic artist in the late 1940s in Nashville, Tennessee.
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|
|Union Square, flower market|
|34th Street and 5th Avenue|
|City Hall subway station|
|College of the City of New York|
|Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn|
|Greenwich Village, hot dog festival|
|Mott Street (Chinatown)|
|South Street Seaport|
|Statue of Liberty, from the torch|
|The Brooklyn Bridge|
|The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Washington Bridge and Harlem River Drive|
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!