Original Format Black and white nitrate negative, by Dorothea Lange. July 1939, Gordonton, North Carolina. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image One of Lange's most recognisable works, the research on signage alone took three days.
Original Caption Country store on dirt road. Sunday afternoon. Note the kerosene pump on the right and the gasoline pump on the left. Rough, unfinished timber posts have been used as supports for porch roof. Negro men are sitting on the porch. Brother of store owner stands in doorway. Gordonton, North Carolina.
Original Format Albumen silver print, by Franz von Stillfried-Ratenicz. 1881, Yokohama, Japan. Courtesy of the Capital Collections.
About this Image The port of Yokohama became the base of foreign trade in Japan, and a centre of newly imported Western technology such as gas powered street lamps, newspaper and of course, photography. A number of photographic studios operated out of Yokohama, with the Japan Photographic Association (also known as Stillfried & Andersen) producing a prolific output of hand coloured portraits and landscapes.
Many photographs of daily life and portraits of a cross section of society were shot by known photographers of the time such as Felice Beato, and a number of Japanese photographers such as Kusakabe Kimbei (日下部 金兵衛) who developed their own techniques for hand colouring albumen silver prints known as shashin abura-e (写真油絵), were incredibly popular with tourists of the time.
Original Caption A portrait of a Japanese soldier from the waist up. He is standing facing his left whilst wearing ornate armour consisting of a chest plate and chainmail undershirt. His hair is swept back and is dressed in a topknot.
War Paint, 1944
Original Format Black and white photograph by the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, Signal Corps, U.S. Army. June 1944, England. Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.
About this Image The direct inspiration for the Dirty Dozen, the Filthy Thirteen was a demolitions unit in the 506th Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Known for ‘going the extra mile’ in combat missions, the units exploits were made famous when this iconic image of Ware and Plaudo was printed in The Stars & Stripes, the official American Armed Forces newspaper. The origins of the name referred to the units aversion of cleaning themselves, with the mohawks inspired by Acting Sergeant Jake McNeice’s Native American heritage.
Original Caption Pvt. Clarence C. Ware, 438 W. 15th St., San Pedro, Calif., gives a last second touch to Pvt. Charles R. Plaudo, 210 N. James, Minneapolis, Minn., make-up patterned after the American Indians. Somewhere in England.
About this Image A commission for the 2014 Exhibition Discovering Tutankhamun at The Ashmolean Museum, the image shows 43 distinct priceless artefacts shot by archive photographer Harry Burton at the time of Howard Carter's famous discovery.
The level of research required for accurate colour references was absolute: each artefact needed to be identified and cross referenced with both Carter's original inventory notes and the restored artefact in the Museum of Egypt. The result is an authentic depiction of the tomb at the time of its discovery, preserved and covered in over three thousand years of dust.
Cotton Trader, 1936
Original Format Colourisation from a 35mm negative nitrate. June 1936, Marianna, Arkansas, USA by Carl Mydans. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image A cotton trader stands at the entrance of Greenhaw Brothers’ Cotton buyers. This image provides a glimpse into America’s long and troubled history tied to the production of this commodity, from a racial and economic perspective that carried through into the Great Depression.
Original Caption [Untitled photo, possibly related to: Typical view of store and cotton trader in small Arkansas town. This one made in Marianna, Arkansas]
Louis Pasteur, 1878
Original Format Black and white photograph, by Félix Nadar. 1878, France. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Libraries.
About this Image An exercise in making a photograph look like a painting. Based on Jean Ingres' Portrait of Monsieur Bertin, painted in 1832.
The Great Depression: Flippin' Burgers, 1938
Original Format 35mm negative nitrate by Russell Lee. October 1938, Crowley, Louisiana, USA courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image A young man grills hamburgers the old fashioned way before fast food. This image was a great technical challenge, with a lot of signage, reflections and details that really tested my patience. The hamburger patties browning on the side touching the grill has about 16 layers of colours on it.
The signage is as authentic as possible, if not sourcing the posters used, then branding from the same campaign or advertising run using the brands colours. Royal Crown Cola is still sold today, and 7-Up’s signage was actually predominantly black and red until the 1940’s. The billboards at the top were a challenge, but narrowed down the poster on the right to be Pan-Am Motor Oils’ ‘Ella Cinders’ character which appeared in comics, they are now collectors items. The poster on the right is advertising the 1938 feature film SPAWN OF THE NORTH starring George Raft, Akim Tamiroff and Louis Platt - filmed in Alaska and produced by Paramount Pictures, whose logo you can see if you look closely.
Original Caption Making hamburgers in concession stand, National Rice Festival, Crowley, Louisiana
Nihang Bodyguard, 1865
Original Format Colourisation from a Glass Plate Negative. c.1865, Hyderabad by Captain W. W. Hooper & Surgeon G. Western. Courtesy of the Toor Collection on behalf of the Sikh Culture Initiative GT1588
About this Image A Nihang bodyguard serving in the Nizam of Hyderabad's irregular Sikh army. In his right hand he holds a khanda sword, and in his left a ball and chain flail. The all-steel chillanum dagger in his cummerbund is traditionally associated with southern India. He also wears a shield, a second sword and a pistol, the butt of which is visible under his left arm. His battle-turban is fortified with razor-sharp steel quoits, miniature sword blades and steel chains.
The Great Depression: Yellow Girl, 1935
Original Format Black and white nitrate negative, by Dorothea Lange. December 1935, New Mexico, USA. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image Another portrait from Dorothea Lange's documentation of the Great Depression. Pictured is a resettled farm child from Taos Junction to the Bosque Farms project - a piece of land acquired by the Federal Resettlement Administration that year to house Dust Bowl refugees.
Original Format 4x5 inch negative by Leslie Jones. c.1947, USA. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
About this Image A young boy hangs out in the nose engine of a Republic F-84 Thunderjet.
Original Caption Kid climbs into US Air Force jet engine
Original Format Black and white negative nitrate by Arthur Siegel. Fall 1941, Jackson, Michigan, USA. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image Three farmers break into a bottle of Old Milwaukee, a brand of dry lager still brewed by the Pabst Brewing Company.
Peatwy Tuck of the Meskwahki, 1898
Original Format Colourisation from a photographic print : platinum. 1898, by Frank A. Rheinhart, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library.
About this Image The Meskwahki are an amalgamated tribe of the Sauk (Sac) and Meskwahki (Fox) tribes. Though socio-economically and culturally similar, they were politically independent until the Meskwahki’s war with the French severely crippled the Fox tribe’s power base. The combined Sac & Fox tribes were further displaced Native Americans west of the Mississippi river following Presidential Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830, to a reservation in what is now part of Oklahoma. 27 Meskwahki enlisted in the U.S. Army in World War II.
Caption Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition (1898 : Omaha, Neb.); Indians of North America; Fox Indians; Sauk Indians.
Time's Square, 1947
Original Format Colourisation from a photographic black and white negative. July 1947. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb, New York City, USA. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
About this Image Legendary jazz pianist Art Hodes and his River Boat Jazz Band promote their cancer benefit show through the streets of New York, on a horse drawn cart no less. Gottlieb’s image captures the energy of a post war America, the epicentre of which was, and still is, Times Square in New York City.
About two dozen reference images were found of the square itself, as well as individual signage, imparting a great deal of historical authenticity; given that the only internationally recognisable elements of this image that still exist today are the statue of Father Duffy and Pepsi Cola. The whisky brand Kinsey went out of business in the mid-1980’s, whilst the Four Roses bourbon (the sign, top and back) is still in operation, produced by Japanese beverage giant Kirin. Ruppert Beer went out of business at the end of 1965, after mismanagement by the owners heirs. The Warner Bros. Strand theatre was knocked down in 1987 and is now the site of the Morgan Stanley building.
Original Caption Portrait of Art Hodes, Kaiser Marshall, Henry (Clay) Goodwin, Sandy Williams, and Cecil (Xavier) Scott, Times Square, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947]