Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

Rare Portraits of the Nigerian Royal Court from the Mid-1900s

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Noted Nigerian photographer Chief S.O. Alonge was the very first indigenous photographer of the Royal Court of Benin in Nigeria, and for some five decades, he captured thousands of Kodak glass-plate negatives of the ritual, pageantry and regalia of the Nigerian obas (kings), their wives and retainers.

Now, these rarely seen images and the fascinating world they preserved are being pulled out of the archives of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and shown to the world once more. Read more…

Eerie and Fascinating Photos of a Completely Empty New York City Taken in 1964

Empty New York, c. 1964 Vintage gelatin silver print 5 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches (paper)

Empty New York, c. 1964, Vintage gelatin silver print, 5 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches (paper)

In 1964, photographer Duane Michals fortuitously found himself leafing through a photo book that contained the work of French photographer Eugene Atget. Atget’s intimate 19th century photographs of Paris inspired Michals to attempt to capture a similarly intimate portrait of New York City.

Thus was born ‘Empty New York,’ a series of photographs showing the streets of the Big Apple completely devoid of live, exhibited for the very first time as a set at the DC Moore Gallery in New York in April and May of this year. Read more…

Powerful Images of the 1960s by Benedict Fernandez Revealed in Bronx Exhibit

Solidarity march honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after his assassination. Memphis, Tennessee, April 6, 1968. © Benedict J. Fernandez

Solidarity march honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after his assassination. Memphis, Tennessee, April 6, 1968. © Benedict J. Fernandez

Puerto Rican and Italian photographer Benedict Fernandez‘ images from the 1960s are incredible… but you’ve probably never seen them before. Until recently, many of his powerful photographs remained tucked away in his archive.

Fortunately, that is all changing this month thanks to an exhibition at the Bronx Documentary Center. Read more…

Blast from the Past: 18,000fps High Speed Photography in the 1960s

Back in 1948, The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers defined high-speed photography as any 3 frames or more captured at a rate at or above 128 frames per second, but even back then high-speed cameras performed well past that mark.

The public domain video above gives us a short peek at how far high-speed photography tech had advanced by the mid-1960s, when Wollensak’s Fastax models were some of the foremost high-speed cameras on the market, capturing action at speeds of up to 18,000fps. Read more…

Iconic Civil Rights Photographer Exposed as FBI Informant

Some of the most raw, intimate and iconic photographs of the Civil Rights Movement were taken by photojournalist Ernest C. Withers. He was present during the entire Emmett Till trial, when Martin Luther King, Jr. rode the first desegregated bus, and in the hotel room where Dr. King was assassinated. Many civil rights activists would cite Withers’ images as key to informing America of their plight and fight for equality.

But recent reports by Memphis publication The Commercial Appeal indicate that Withers, who passed away in 2007, was also informing the FBI — on their payroll.

The Commercial Appeal posted documents indicating that while Withers was photographing key members of the movement, he was also acting eyes and ears for a now inoperative wing of the FBI that heavily tracked civil rights activists.

Due to a clerical error revealing Withers’ informant number, reporters at The Commercial Appeal were able to connect Withers’ name to informant activities. Read more…