The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On May - 22 - 2009

What marks summer more perfectly then a festival?

Maybe sunny days and a bit of time at the beach, but festivals are right up there too. My moments at outdoor venues have defined various time periods in my life as I have cataloged my memories of summers by the festivals or concerts that I frequented. There is something about a large gathering of people all united by whatever theme or overtones have brought them to a certain place at a specific time that creates an atmosphere unlike any other. My musing over festival was well timed, as I was browsing through the great depths of online archives I stumbled across some nice photos showing some celebratory moments in history. What made this discovery more serendipitous was the fact that I had just finished browsing through a National Geographic article about the importance of festivals and the cultures they represent. Lucky for me this article had photos of a series of festivals that were frequented in 2008, giving a kind of overview of events put on across different states.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/photogalleries/weird-american-festivals-missions/index.html

The title of this magazine article promised “Snake Roundups, Worm Races and More!” So before I even saw the photos I was drawn into this article by sheer excitement over snakes and worms. Taking a page from the above article I have tried to entice readers to this page by my own title of “Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegs” now that’s how you promote a blog. In my usual fashion I am going to draw a link here, comparing the festivities of the past with the current events depicted in National Geographic. Tribute to agricultural activities seems more prolific in photos of past events, but I supposed that would partially be based on more individuals living agrarian lifestyles. Leaving the archives to show the citizens of local communities turning the labors of life, like farming, into competitions or moments of celebration. Today with so many people in ballooning city populations we see  examples of events that try and shake up or just alter the urban reality like the Idiotarod in New York City where costumed participants race through the streets with grocery carts, now that is how you shake up a dry work week. All the water tasting festivals and red hat events show is exactly what the magazine article discussed and my point here, how reflective festivals are and how they can be used to see what’s at the central core of a community. Comparing the photos below to the magazine article show more then just different photographic techniques but the development and differences in social structures that define peoples lives. If you have read this far for the title alone let me assure you that some really nice pictures are bellow.

early 20th Cen. Goat Festival Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegsevents

Early 20th century. A typical Flamande with her decorated goat going to the Belgian goat festival. Gelatine-silver print. Photographed by Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 13 March 1871 – died 27 February 1956. Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Fund. Victoria and Albert museum

early_20th_Cen._Goat_festival_image_#2

Early 20th century. The judge Belgian goat festival. Photographed by Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 13 March 1871 – died 27 February 1956. Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Fund. Victoria and Albert Museum

early_20th_Cen._Goat_festival_image_#3

Early 20th century. Competitors Belgian goat festival. Photographed by Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 13 March 1871 – died 27 February 1956. Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Fund. Victoria and Albert Museum

1910 1915 Festival of Empire Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegsevents

Between 1910 and 1915 King Geo, Queen Mary, Earl Plymouth, Prince of Wales at opening “Festival of Empire”. Glass negatives. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

1910 1915 Flower Festival Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegsevents

Between 1910 and 1915. Annual flower festival, Portland, Oregon. Glass negatives. George Grantham Bain Collection. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington.

1953_Tabacoo_festival_ image_#2

September 19, 1953. Tobacco Festival. Adolph B. Rice Studio. The Library of Virginia.

1953 Tobacco festival Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegsevents

September 19, 1953. Tobacco Festival. Adolph B. Rice Studio. The Library of Virginia.

1960 Seminole Indian Billy Bowlegs III Tobacco Floats, Prize Goats and Billy Bowlegsevents

1960. Seminole Indian Billy Bowlegs III at the Florida Folk Festival : White Springs, Florida. Bowlegs was a patriarch of the Seminoles. State Library and Archives of Florida.

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