Homelessness in America Photo Archive - 1930s-60s

Photo Archive

Archive of 7 silver gelatin photographs depicting urban homelessness in the 1930s-60s in America. Black and white silver gelatin Press photos. Photos measure between 4.25" x 5.75" to 7.25" x 9" inches. This photographic archive of urban homelessness around the middle of the 20th century depicts scenes from the margins of society. It gives a good sense of the loneliness and desperation of homelessness, but also the public infrastructure created for the homeless in America from the soup kitchens to the dormitories to the alcoholic recovery centers. One photo is from 1936, depicting a grizzled older man eating some soup and bread out of a mess-hall style tin bowl. The verso states has the caption "800 homeless men will be thrown out of the Lodge." Homelessness was a major issue in the Great Depression, with the "hobos" exploding in number as many men were dispossessed or unemployed due to the crash. Several images arefrom 1950, one shows a dormitory full of homeless men. Two men huddle around a furnace while the rest sleep. Another photo shows an elderly man, with the appearance of a Depression-era hobo, in Spokane, WA, being handled by the police. Another 1950's photo depicts a line of down-and-out men around Christmas in 1958 New York City. They are waiting for admittance into the Mission, a free dormitory that only the most destitute would make use of. Another photo from Houston, 1959, shows a sobriety chart at the Skid Row Alcoholic Center. Also incudesa photo from "Skid Row" in 1962.One photo from 1965 depicts a dimly lit dormitory attended to by an employee who is sternly pointing her finger at a man sleeping in one of the cots. Most the images are of high artistic quality, with an interplay of light and shadows that bring out the desperation and hopelessness in the image. While there are several photos in this archive of groups of men waiting together for services, the men pictured all seem remarkably alone. These original press photos taken by photojournalist within tight timeframe for the benefit of particular editorial board and with the aim of usage by the press to illustrated an article often affected public opinion in the nation. This archive gives a intimate sense of the dark and lonely experience of homelessness in this period. The photos are overall in very good condition.

Item #17808

Price: $750.00