The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On July - 13 - 2009

While in Berlin I collected a series of photographs depicting the Brandenburger Tor, images that showed this iconic gate throughout history. These images were available all over the city, tourists shops often had numerous standard post cards but the Brandenburger Tor, in particular, seemed predominate. As a tourist it is interesting to note the images that you are presented with as being symbolic of the place you are visiting. What are the sites or moments that are archived as being tourist worthy and how are they presented?

In Vancouver I spent a great deal of time in one of the most tourist focused areas of the city, a spot called Gastown. An interesting area that holds a lot of historical roots, it has a certain feel that is formed by it’s cobbled stone sidewalks, a steam clock and a statue of Gassy Jack. Yet simultaneously this area merges with Vancouver’s East Hastings, an area that is known for such concerns as homelessness and drug addiction, issues that most tourist boards would prefer to keep away from visitors. From the post cards I have collected that depict  Gastown the area appears as a nostalgic reminder of Vancouver’s  history, which makes sense from a tourist marketing standpoint but as a citizen of this city it overlooks the larger issues and contradictions in this space. An area whose identity has long been a point of contention between such interest groups as the business association of Gastown and East Vancouver’s community groups. I think these same ideas about spaces can be applied to the vintage post cards I have collected here. Images that for whatever reason have been held up as symbolizing a space or a moment, why a certain space is depicted in a particular light and what the larger story or issues that exist behind the post card photograph is what will continue to intrigue me and I hope will be of interest to each of you.

Versailles Hôtel de ville04 1024x641 Post Card Photographstourism

Hôtel de ville de Versailles – Yvelines (France) au début du XXe siècle -Town hall of Versailles. Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

GeneseeStreetUticaNY1906.JPG 1024x662 Post Card Photographstourism1906 or before. Genesee Street, Canal Bridge, Utica, N.Y, Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

800px Vaires écluse 1906 Post Card Photographstourism

Canal-lock of Vaires-sur-Marne, France. The card has been sent in 1906. Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

Red Square post card Post Card PhotographstourismView of Red Square from the Spassky tower window. Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

1900_Tianjin_china_railway station

Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

LunaParkPostcarHeartOfConeyIsland 644x1024 Post Card Photographstourism

Postcard view “Entrance to Luna Park, Coney Island N.Y.” Not dated. This copy was mailed, postmarked 1906. Postcard by Illustrated Post Card Co. Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

Elisseieff Post Card Photographstourism

“A post card with Elisseeff store from my collection – the post card with photograph by anonymous author was manufactured in 1904, or 107 years ago, and is in public domain under Russian law (50 years).” Public domain, wikipedia commons.Hotel_Metropole,_Brussels_Belguim_1920's

1920. Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium. Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

800px Post Card   Faidherbe Bridge 1 Post Card Photographstourism

Period post card, illustrating the Faidherbe Bridge Public domain. Wikipedia commons.

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