Friday, August 16, 2013

Sawyer Library Hidden Treasure: Portrait of an Age

Re-discovered in the Sawyer Library 4th floor collection, Portrait of an Age contains a rich assemblage of un-posed and frequently un-authorized photographs taken by Erich Salomon from the late 1920s to the beginning of WWII. Pictorial historiographer, pioneer in the art of photojournalism, and master of the well-placed hidden camera, Salomon was known among politicians of Europe as “the king of the indiscrete” (66). This collection of Salomon’s candid photos, selected by Han de Vries and Peter Hunter-Salomon, shows political life in action at the League of Nations and throughout Europe, and highlights living scenes among royalty, well-known historical personages of Europe and America, and the every-day person of the era. Notable figures photographed by Salomon include: Albert Einstein, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Marlene Dietrich, Upton Sinclair, Duchess of York (Queen Mother Elizabeth) Winston S. Churchill, Benito Mussolini and Klara Zetkin. Check out this item to view through Erich Salomon’s lens the period style, the interactions among rulers and politicos, the action at exclusive royal banquets, and some of daily life during the years between World Wars I and II.

Table of Contents:

  • Who was Erich Salomon?
  • The epoch of the League of Nations
  • Germany in 1930
  • Europe and its conferences
  • The year in Geneva
  • Judges and courts
  • Artists, intellectuals, and society
  • America in 1930
  • A look at France in 1935
  • On the eve of World War II
Image credit: Ermanox_img_0794.jpg By Rama (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (], via Wikimedia Commons

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