The Collective Picture

Vintage Photography Redefined

admin On September - 10 - 2009

With summer coming quickly to a close and labour day having skipped by we find ourselves at the beginning of the school year. As children march back to the daily grind parents, teachers and yes even politicians swarm over issues effecting the education system. In the U.S. controversy built this week around a speech President Obama wished to give to school children, while closer to my home in Vancouver, B.C. Canada the issue of massive budget cuts raised concerns for local school boards. Both of these issues, fears over financial support and what ideologies are expressed to children,  bring forth a great deal of debate as the idea of needing to protect and mold children looms large for many. While the U.S. education system is being offered something, a direct connection with their President, my own local education system is bagging for support. These two issues, when presented together, seem in striking contradiction to one another yet both highlight an important issue, how eduction is constructed and controlled through fiscal and ideological battles. Whether or not individuals believe in the ideas presented by the President is not the only, or for that matter the major, issue. To me the focus should be on the fact that  any time there is effort made to support and connect with children it should be welcomed, even if it doesn’t necessarily align with ones own views of education. For hardline Republicans fearing their children being brain washed I question the rationality of trying to raise their children in a bubble removed from any contradictory views. As controversial as some may find this statement I am a firm believer in the  idea of a well rounded education for all children, ideally exposing them to as much information as possible, preferably with dedicated parents and teachers alongside them to assist them in interpreting these experiences.

I am sure we can all ground ourselves in the importance of these issues because of the experiences we all have of education. All remembering, or for those that are younger still experiencing, life in a school system. I have collected bellow a variety of class portraits showing a great deal of diversity in educational systems varying in date, geographical location, and cultural representation.

1865 1872 muslim school persian children teacher Back To Schoolportraits

Between 1865 and 1872. Muslim school, students seated outdoors gathered around a teacher (Persian-Turkish). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

1885 miss barlleg children Back To Schoolportraits

1885.  A group of boys and girls with their teach. Miss Barlleg’s school, Conwy, Photographed by John Thomas. Record Number 336045. National Library of Whales.

1887 muskoka lakes ontario canada school children Back To Schoolportraits

1887. A group of school children, Muskoka Lakes, Ont., Canada. Photographer: Frank W. Micklethwaite. Library and Archives Canada.

1903 christian mission school nablus palestine Back To Schoolportraits

December 11, 1903. Children at the Christian Mission School of Nablus, Palestine. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

1904 provincial model school class ottawa Back To Schoolportraits

1904-1905. Pupils of Provincial Model School, Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Credit: Beddoe, Alan / Library and Archives Canada

1906 school photo students teacher eastpoint flordia Back To Schoolportraits

ca. 1906. Eastpoint school, teacher and students. Eastpoint, Florida. State Library and Archives of Florida.

1910 school children teacher oxford street Back To Schoolportraits

ca. 1910. School children with teachers under Magnolia trees on Oxford Street. Charles C. Zoller. Accession Number: 1982:2041:0053 George Eastman House Photography Collection.

1910 students uniform albuquerque indian school Back To Schoolportraits

ca. 1910. Junior class of students in uniform at the Albuquerque Indian School. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1917 belubula school children anzac day Back To Schoolportraits

April 25, 1917. Anzac Day. Belubula School. photographed by E.A. Lumme. State Library of New South Wales.

1918 ukrainian school edmonton elia shklanka class Back To Schoolportraits

1918. Ukrainian School, (South Edmonton). Elia Shklanka teacher. Credit: George E. Dragan / Library and Archives Canada.

1920 1925 school children anao ifugaos philippines Back To Schoolportraits

Between 1920-1925. Photograph shows a group of Filipino children, of various ages, posed in front of a school at Anao, Ifugaos Province, the Philippines. In background, young tribesmen stand on school porch. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

1923 scrub school teacher children tenterfield new south wales Back To Schoolportraits

1923. Scrub School, Tenterfield area, NSW, Billy Butter’s Studio, Tenterfield. State Library New South Wales. “It was school picnic day, that’s why we were dressed up. Also it was the teacher’s last day because she was joining the convent”. (Spoken by Vera Rossington 15/12/88).

1955 school children graduation st. joseph Back To Schoolportraits

June 11, 1955. St. Joseph School graduation. Library of Virginia, Prints and Photographs Adolph B. Rice Studio

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