Cushman Archives

I was introduced recently to a phenomenal historical collection of photographs by Charles W. Cushman (thanks to the upcoming Spondizo blog). Hours could easily be spent perusing this site, which contains the diverse, difficult, and romantic imagery of a man who witnessed what the website describes as “a dying landscape” — America before the technology years, before the suburban residential expansions and before the mass integration of commercial life into our daily habits. Strangely, or not so strangely perhaps, his work is mainly in COLOR, a rich color that is separate from our digitally rendered world yet looks oddly good rendered by it.
Cushman is apparently up there with the likes of other great photographers like Walker Evans, and his vision, sensibility, and techniques are truly unique. Cushman traveled this country shooting small towns and large cities. But because of the color (o, the color!), the inhabitants in these photographs look as if they still walking among us, dressed in their workclothes and Sunday finest and ready to go to work. And the landscapes sing.
Look at this one of a woman and child, this one of Fulton Market in 1941, this one on the Lower East Side of New York in 1941, this photo of the Rockies melts my heart.

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