A revealing and raw photographic study/archive of 1930’s of New York city from listed artist by the name of John Tazewell Robertson. Robertson was noted for his fabulous Art Deco murals throughout the nation during the depression years in Federal Buildings and other noted places like the Bronx Zoo, Post Offices, Schools, and Institutions throughout the United States.
This collection consist of original multiple 35 mm negatives (1930-36) Robertson took for his study Of the effects the Great Depression was having on the people of New York City both economically and socially. Hoovervilles were the catchphrase for the urban mini shantytowns that cropped up across New York City, as homeless Americans improvised with scraps, abandoned cars, and packing crates. Robertson had a very talented photographic eye and captured the cities soul and heart during this period. One of the more fascinating folders of photographic positive negatives in this archive is the many Photo’s he took with a hidden spy camera at Burlesque clubs he frequently visited. These images show how immoral and graphic the city had become during a time when unemployment was near 25 %. I have scanned a few of the images for your inspection in this listing. There are six folders in this collection and the topics of the photos have been marked on each folder by Robertson. They are: 1. Burlesque Positive,2.French Casino,3.Burlesque Positive,French Casino Positive,Central Park and several, several artistic positive images of New Yorkers on the street, working and living. In addition to this collection is a brochure and broadside dated 1931 soliciting writers from Roosevelt’s New Deal Program to write for the New Talkies in Motion Pictures, as the silent era was coming to a close. Robertson landed a job with Paramount Pictures in 1931 writing and photographing for the west coast studios. All these images can be developed into 8” x 10 format and larger. I can provide more examples upon request. In conclusion this archive tells a riveting story of a city and country in the grips of survival and hope.
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