Tag Archives: Fred Bodin

Howard Liberman FSA OWI Gloucester Photos

Catherine Ryan Submits-

CROSS-COUNTRY CHRONICLE

Gloucester, MA in landmark FSA/OWI documentary photographs

Part 3

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American Photographer HOWARD LIBERMAN

150 FSA/OWI photos in Gloucester, MA, September 1942

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Hey, Joey,

Here is Part 3 in a series about Gloucester photographs in the legendary Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) collection within the Library of Congress.

You can go back to Part 1 about artist Gordon Parks, and for some background about the program (1935-42).

Part 2 is about photographer Arthur Rothstein with a timeline and quick facts.

In 1942, the Farm Security Administration Historic Photographic section program was winding down as it transitioned and prioritized for WWII. It was temporarily folded into the Office of War Information before shutting down completely. (Gordon Parks was brought on board during this transition.) Director Roy Stryker was occupied with many directives including securing a safe haven for the FSA archives. He was also maintaining a network of contacts in the publishing world and private sectors, and writing. He contributed a chapter for Caroline Ware’s influential book, The Cultural Approach to History. There was magazine work such as the 1942 issue of The Complete Photographer which published articles by both Arthur Rothstein (“Direction in the Picture Story”) and Roy Stryker (“Documentary Photography”.)

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Rothstein had already left the FSA. In 1940, Peter E. Smith Publishers, Gloucester, MA, produced his photo book, Depression Years as Photographed by Arthur Rothstein. This compilation of photographs included the best known Gloucester image from his 1937 visit; was it one of the publisher’s, too.

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In 1941, Elmer Davis was appointed as the Director of the newly created Office of War Information (OWI). In 1942, Davis hired Francis Edwin Brennan from FORTUNE magazine to head the Graphics Department of the OWI.

As Art Director of Fortune (1938-1942), Brennan commissioned famous covers by artists such as Otto Hagel and Fernand Leger. He was known in the industry as a serious art and publishing expert and was a favorite of Henry Luce.

It’s likely that Brennan was one contact for Howard Liberman’s engagement at OWI. In August of 1941 Brennan featured a FORTUNE magazine special portfolio of sample posters to showcase the development and potential of this media. Howard Liberman was one of the artists he commissioned; here’s his contribution for that issue:

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And here is a poster Liberman created for the OWI.

1943 --- United We Win Poster by Howard Liberman --- Image by © CORBIS

Liberman worked with color photography, too, which is a sub-collection at the Library of Congress, less known than the black and white. Color photography was available, but more expensive to process and for media publishers to print.

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Howard Liberman was dispatched to Gloucester in September of 1942. His photographs show a clear emphasis on WWII dominant coverage, sometimes with an FSA take.  The titles on Liberman’s OWI photos often lead with a heading. For Gloucester, many images have caption leads that begin with the patriotic category: VICTORY FOOD FROM AMERICAN WATERS.

In Gloucester, Howard Liberman spent a time on the docks and out with the crew of the OLD GLORY.

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His captions seldom include surnames of the portrait subjects. They do have lengthy– sometimes general, sometimes quite specific– descriptions to support the category heading.

There are action and portrait shots of the crew catching rosefish during an Old Glory voyage.

“Victory food from American waters. At the docks in Gloucester, Massachusetts, crew members prepare their trawler for a week’s voyage. Most of the fishermen in the city come from a line of fishermen that dates back for centuries.”

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“Victory food from American waters. Immediately after being caught rosefish are shoveled into the hold for packing the ice. Once called “goldfish” because of their brilliant color, the fish are finding a ready market because of their manifold uses–as food for humans, as fish meal and fish oil.”

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“Crew members throw overboard excess ice from Old Glory’s hold. Fishmen allow a proportion of one ton of ice to three tons of fish. When the catch is unusually large as on this trip, some ice is removed to make room for the fish.”

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“Victory food from American waters. Decks are covered with tons of rosefish as the Old Glory reaches its capacity load. After two and one half days of fishing, a catch of 85,000 pounds has been hauled in”

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“Tomorrow’s fishermen–young Gloucester boys push wagons of rosefish from the unloading pier to the processing plant where the fish are filleted and frozen…Many of the boys will follow their forefathers and fishermen in New England waters”

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Look for ‘scenes’ such as Captain John Ribiera (surname spelled a couple of ways in the archive) at work and with his wife at home. 1942 census indicates “Oscar (Irene) fishermn Riberio” at 18 Perkins Street.

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Note the picture of “the Pilot at the Wheel” above the stove

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Another reminder to look for exhibits to see vintage prints in person, rather than the low resolution files I’m showing here. Various resolution options are available at the Library of Congress. Besides the formal details, check out the Captain’s eyes!

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Binnacle blinded.

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The “Mother of Good Voyages” statue in Captain John Riberia’s quarters on the fishing trawler “Old Glory”

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There are a couple of Gloucester interiors (deteriorated negatives) of the Gloucester Mariners’ Association; they infer “captains welcome only.” One shows a gentleman playing cribbage; another shows Captain Ben Pine, the man who raced the schooner Gertrud Thebud.

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Joey, beautiful dangerous industry: shoveling fish into the rotary scaler at a fish packing plant.

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For assignments in other towns, typical headings for Liberman categories include:

Americans All; Subcontracting; School Boys in Training; Industrial Safety; Office Equipment Used by WPB; Women at War; Fuel Oil Consumption; Women Workers (see below making flags); Airports (ditto other industries); Military (e.g. Fort Belvoir); African American Aircraft Propeller Workers (ditto other jobs); Shipyard Workers; Bomber Plant Workers; Price Control; Production; Submarine Chasers; and Conversions (from this to look here it is now was a useful WWII product)

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There are more than 50 additional Gloucester photos in the Library of Congress collection, and one Royden Dixon image from 1940. 

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We are fortunate that so many talented artists worked on the FSA/OWI project, that a few visited Gloucester, and that so many folks across the county were willing to participate as subjects (easier during the War)

The municipal employees and the curators and staff who have worked on these collections (over decades) are superstars. Beverly Brannan is the curator of 20th C documentary photography at the Library of Congress.

For the FSA/OWI program, Director Roy Stryker proselytized that photography was perhaps the best tool for analyzing living history. He felt that photography as a fine art form and its gains in technical ease and advances coincided ideally with the timing of the FSA/OWI historical photographic section. He forecast rapid and constant increase in photography use and adapters. He was inspired by individual and private pioneering antecedents (Brady/Civil War, Hines/Russell Sage), and public ones such as the documentary photographs by William Jackson for the Department of the Interior.

Sometimes I think of Stryker’s Section work along a continuum of government spending on exploration that produced great contemporaneous historical records. The journals of Lewis & Clark. The work created by artists who participated in the NASA Art Program. These FSA photographs.

Stryker realized that there were collections of photography building up in municipalities big and small; how they were catalogued and assessed were critical to their use.  Here in Gloucester, the Cape Ann Museum maintains a Historic Photo Collection containing over 100,000 images from 1840s through now. Photography is included among its permanent and temporary exhibits and what’s not on view can be researched at their archives.

GLOUCESTER PHOTOGRAPHY PRE, DURING AND POST FSA/OWI

There were many independent artists as well as staff photographers (local newspapers, businesses such as Gorton’s, etc.) working in photography here in Gloucester. Every decade has wonderful examples such as Herbert Turner, Alice Curtis (and other photographers that Fred Bodin features), and David Cox’s father, Frank L. Cox.

There were numerous visits from staff photographers of major publications like Life, Vogue, National Geographic, and more. Gordon Parks came back at least two more times; a few other celebrated staff photographers that came through include Luis Marden, Eliot Elisofon, Yale Joel, Co Rentmeester and Arthur Schatz.

No- photographic artists who also worked in photography is another long list, and would include Leonard Craske, Emil Gruppe, Philip Reisman, and many others.

Good Morning Gloucester features photography, that’s for sure.

-Catherine Ryan / all photos Library of Congress, FSA/OWI black and white photography collection

Harbortown Cultural District Update From Cat Ryan

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Cat Ryan submits-

Harbortown Cultural District will be included in an upcoming AAA publication featuring 10 cultural districts! Also look for some breaking tech news. Our Harbortown cultural district joined forces with the 3 other Cape Ann Cultural Districts (Harbortown, Rocky Neck, Rockport and Essex) to apply for a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant to help us towards some exciting shared marketing. We found out that YES we were awarded a grant, and are looking forward to creating a new mobile APP.

We’re also crossing our fingers this week, waiting to see if an amendment to the state’s supplemental budget happens or not. The MCC is asking for an amendment that will include $500,000 to market the state’s cultural districts through advertising on commuter rail lines, the subway and on busses in the Boston area.

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GMG contributor and the ever affable Main Street proprietor Fred Bodin is one of our many talented founding partners. During our August event at the Cape Ann Museum, he multi-tasked. The good photos from the event are his! Visit http://www.gloucesterharbortown.org

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Cape Ann Museum Director, Ronda Faloon, outlined the museum’s impressive next steps and guided us on a mini tour. Cape Ann TV –also a founding partner—was filming.  The Fresnel lens is gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it in its new location when the museum re-opens. Look at the scale of this thing (see photo with Bob Whitmarsh, Co-Chair, to get an idea of size—)!

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We followed up with a discussion of our district goals led by Bex Borden.

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We are so grateful to Cape Ann Museum for hosting and the lovely appetizer spread and beverages. They also set up and readied for our visit and meeting. Harbortown founding partner, Lise Breen, and other members also helped set and clean up for this double billing. What a spot to have it. Check out the large Gordon Goetemann oil on canvas From a High Place Nice!

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More party photos

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Please Welcome New Official Contributor Fred Bodin

Well he’s been contributing unofficially for quite some time now so I figured Fred has earned his stripes and a key to the GMG posting dashboard. 

Fred has shown an ability to create interesting posts, not make it all about himself, and he hasn’t been a total pain in the ass about the way I’ve edited what he has submitted for the blog.

So he’s now official.  A GMG contributor!  look for him in the 9AM slot.

Write a note of congratulations to Fred in the comment section below the photo!

You know the L-R’s. Photo by Janet P. Crary with my camera. Fred is in Full Banana outfit: Designer tux, white shirt and bow tie, and Tommy Bahama silk slacks. Pet lobster, Shaggy, by Walgreens. We were at Sista’ Felicia’s Gala Book Launching.

Pigeon Cove, "Maine?"

Fred Bodin submits-

HBO Filming in Pigeon Cove, “Maine?”

As I was driving to work this morning, I saw major activity at the old Cape Ann Tool Company site in Rockport (MA). Then I saw the lighting truck, then the big equipment truck, and the Rockport Police facilitating traffic on Route 127. The shed that was built on the parking lot and the big cherry pickers, which I thought were for construction of the new development, were there for a movie production.

The HBO series will be called Maine Men, and looks to include lobstering. And no, that’s not George Bush’s black speedboat on the left.The cute little shack they built says: Pigeon Cove. I could live there!

Adventure Returns, 1988

Fred Bodin Submits-

Schooner Adventure came home to Gloucester in 1988, twenty five years ago. The arrival was a grand event, and included the USCG, many private boats, and a blimp. Celebrations continued after she docked. The honoring of Adventure will commence again this weekend. She is the host and star of the visiting schooners.

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No, that’s not the Hindenburg in the sky, it’s the Goodyear Blimp! This photo got me started on schooner photography. They are so graceful and beautiful. That’s John McNiff’s Whaler behind Adventure. This was a significant moment in Gloucester schooner history. What a day! A few years later, she was painted in her original  “fisherman’s black.”

Tuna, Truro, Magnolia, and the Fish Stick

Fred Bodin Submits-

From the (Martha’s) Vinyard Gazette, circa 1951: ” John Sweek of Queen’s, NYC, secretary to a magistrate in his home city, is shown at left with his companions, Robert Collinson from Provincetown and John Kohr of Magnolia, with three tuna caught on rod and reel near the Truro shore in Provincetown Harbor. The fishermen had their best luck with blue atom plugs and squid as bait.” These are definitely surf casting fishermen. Just look at the bare feet, rolled up trousers, and 4 wheel drive Jeep.

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I met John Kohr and his wife Esther (1914–2007) while she and I worked at Endicott College in Beverly. The was something about her that was vaguely aristocratic, but in an old fashioned gracious American way. I now know that she grew up in Provincetown and Truro. In fact, her ship captain uncle sailed in the China Trade, and another ancestor commanded a ship for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and built the oldest still standing house in Truro. Previous ancestors came here on the Mayflower and established Truro. Husband John Kohr (1911–1999) was a graduate of MIT and invented an amazing product while he worked for Gorton’s: The Fish Stick!

Drive by Samaritans Strike Again!

Fred Bodin submits-

Drive by Samaritans Strike Again!

The first part of this installment can be found here

This morning at 10 am the two Samaritans and their mothers came to my gallery to claim their rewards for finding $106 on Main Street and, with my assistance, it was returned to the owner. On the left are Paige and her mom Tracey Harmon, and on the right is Baylee with mom Mayor Carolyn Kirk. But the story of good deeds by these young ladies is not over – read on.

The envelopes are open, and the proud 13 year olds each display their $12.50 rewards.

Paige and Baylee with their small fortunes of reward money. What are they going to do with it? They told me they’re going straight to CVS, and spend it on toys to give to the Boston Children’s Hospital. Still making that good karma – that’s just who they are. You gotta love it!

Fred

Drive by Samaritans and Good Eggs on Main Street

Fred Bodin Submits-

Just after 7 pm tonight (8/20/13), two young ladies came into my gallery to look around after out dining together at Jalapeños next door. On their way out, they stopped at the counter and one of them asked if I wrote the Drive by Shooting post for GMG. Yes I did, and one of them said it was her sister who did the shooting. Wow! After talking about the Drive by Shooting experience for a few minutes, they left. Seconds later, they returned and said: “We found a lot of money scattered on the sidewalk outside.” So we went all of ten feet from my door and I scooped up $106. They saw who dropped it and noticed that he went into Jalapeños. I went into the restaurant with the two girls and we searched for a man in his 30’s wearing a blue shirt and shorts. Good detective work, but no luck. I told the hostess (owner Alex’s daughter) to send the person looking for the cash over to the galley. If he doesn’t come in by 8:30 or so, I’ll bring it to the 24/7 lost and found, the Gloucester Police Department.

I took a photo of these two friends, and got the left to rights. On the left is Page Harmon, sister of the Drive by Shooter, and on the right in front of the Gloucester flag is Baylee Kirk, both from East Gloucester. Bailee’s parents are journalist Bill Kirk and Carolyn Kirk. Carolyn is the Mayor of the City of Gloucester. It was a good experience for the three of us, and a lesson in karma: Always do the right thing. Tomorrow I’ll drop off an envelope to the GPD with five $20 bills, a five, a single, with my business card. Karma is coming our way! Gloucester.

Hail to the Chief!

Fred Bodin Submits-

Chief Samuel George, of the Bear Clan of the Cayuga Nation, represents with his wife Debbie. They live in Cuba, NY, and will be vacationing here on Cape Ann next summer. I guess this is the first Chief and head of state to visit my gallery. Perhaps he’s also the first American Indian Chief to own the sticka.  All Hail to the Chief!

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In talking to the Chief, I could tell that this was a wise and gracious man. He wanted to know about Dogtown’s history and of local native Americans. I told him what I learned from Elyssa East’s book, www.dogtownthebook.com/elyssa-east, and how the Dogtown residents left because of raids during the French and Indian War. Then I explained how Dogtown is now: Big, wildly overgrown with few marked trails thru the jungle, and is very easy to get lost in. Chief Samuel George softly remarked: “That’s good.” Makes you think…

The New Gloucester Harbor and Monster Tuna

Fred Bodin Submits-

Tonight (Sunday 8/18/13) Janet and I went to the final hour of the Waterfront Festival. After a brief stop in the gallery, we decided to take our cars to Captain Carlo’s for dinner, and on the way to our cars, Janet pointed out a large motor yacht tied up at the Fort. I immediately saw the possibilities of an interesting post of our old harbor and what’s ahead in the future, so I told her I’d meet her after taking a few shots from behind Latitude 43.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a very large tuna being unloaded at the Intershell dock. The tuna boat was Second Source of Marblehead. Even the Intershell fish cutter/processor (orange foul weather pants) was taking photos of this exceptional fattie monster tuna.

It looks like they were in awe of this fish. The Intershell employee is holding a fillet knife to cut out samples to check for quality, and they’re all hoping it won’t fall on them. That would be bad – real bad. Taking into account the relative size of the fishermen, we estimate this tuna to be at least 12 feet in length. Tomorrow, I’m walking down to Intershell and getting us a piece of this beautiful giant for the grill. This island we live on is very, very special.

Gray’s Hardware post reached Texas–1896 Gray Pig Pin

Fred Bodin Submits

PigCropped Gray hardwareI received an email yesterday from Attorney David Richards of Fort Worth, Texas. He read my post about Gray’s Hardware on GMG, and the fact that ancestor Lynn Gray said: “My dad, James Gray, used to ride an old fashioned bicycle with the large front wheel around Gloucester as advertising for the store. If anyone has a picture of my dad on that bicycle, now THAT’s something I’d like to see :)” In his email, David Richards expressed his desire to give this pin to Lynn Gray, free of charge. I contacted Lynn and she’s now the proud owner of a vintage 1896 Gray’s pinback.

Schooner Adventure Sails Again!

Schooner Adventure Sails Again!

Yesterday, August 10th, was a historic day for Gloucester and the Schooner Adventure. For the first time in almost twenty years, the historic 1926 Essex–built knockabout schooner sailed Gloucester Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. This was a trial sail, or soft opening as restaurants call it.

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Adventure carries 6,500 square feet of sail and is 122 feet long. Yesterday she easily plowed thru the water at almost 10 knots. The photo below gives you an idea of how big she is. That crew member is not even working on the larger mainsail behind him.

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The restoration of Schooner Adventure began in 1990, and she stopped sailing a few years later. This sail opens a new chapter in the vessel’s history, and marks a proud moment for Cape Ann.

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Our Adventure will be sailing in the Gloucester Schooner Races this Labor Day Weekend. I think she’ll be the one to beat.

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This article is a collaboration between Fred Bodin (writing) and graphic designer Cheryl Briscoe (photography) bluewater_graphics@hotmail.com.

Fred Bodin

Bodin Historic Photo

info@BodinHistoricPhoto.com

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Dead–Tired Blogging from the Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar

Fred Bodin Submits-

Dead–Tired Blogging from the Gloucester Sidewalk Bazaar

The Sidewalk Bazaar was swarmed on the last day, as expected. It’s fun, fairly profitable, and exhausting.

My potter Dave Matthews made a timely delivery of his mugs for the Bazaar. These are discounted at $10 each. Mohawk Trail mug anyone?

Laura Jardullo shows off her balloon dress, which she bought at the Dress Code. Laura was selling her headbands in front of the gallery. Photo taken with her iPhone.

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Diana Long of Gloucester gets snaked at the Cape Ann Vernal Pond booth at Bazaar www.capeannvernalpond.org. Doing the snaking is Alice the boa constrictor. Alice the boa wanted to snake me too, but I demurred.

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Great day at the Bazaar! City Councilor Melissa Cox asked if I’d collect donations for the Gloucester Fireworks Fund. Here, Phil Krone of Burlington, VT contributes. I now keep the container in the gallery for future donations. Come visit, say “hi,” and donate, even if it’s a dollar!

Fred Bodin Covers The 2013 Sidewalk Bazaar

Sidewalk Bazaar 2013

Thursdays during the Bazaar are usually very slow, but not this one, as you can see. We’re looking to the west toward the end of Main Street.

Too busy to eat but famished, I escaped to Passports up the street. The owner, Eric, was outside serving up lobster rolls, and late in the day they were reduced to $10 from $12. They’re made Joey C. style, with mayo and no or minimal condiments. There was probably a full lobster in this sandwich, and I apologize for eating 1/4 of it before taking a picture. The willpower is weak when you’re hungry. Passports will have them again tomorrow.

Interesting aside: While struggling to remember the correct phrase for “the willpower is weak,” I considered going into Jalapenos to ask, but that might have been kind of weird. But just then, a couple came into the gallery. It was, I found out, Kay Lazor, a reporter for the Boston Globe, and her husband, who voluntarily helps her with editing (he was an editor for the Boston Herald). They thought “willpower” was good, and corrected my usage of commas. I don’t know them, but I realize I need to brush up on my “AP Stylebook” and “Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.” Life is so interesting, and tomorrow will be a zoo on Main Street and in the gallery. I rush forward to meet it. http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/blogs/white-coat-notes/2013/07/30/summer-first-batch-mosquitoes-with-eee-found-amherst/zUCgZIuxPt7kIHdPi5kFRK/blog.html

Tomorrow we’ll be open at 9am. Outside we’ll feature Laura Jardullo (left) of the Dress Code with her feathered hair bands, and I’ll have 50 newly (today) arrived pieces of Dave Matthews’ pottery at discounted prices. Photo taken in front of the gallery.

Three Generations Represent From Fred Bodin

Three Generations Represent

Grandmother Eileen Donovan of Gloucester, Cheryl Baressi and her daughter Elizabeth Hynes (both from Brookline), represented in my gallery today. It astonishes me how nice people are, and are willing to be photographed for my FB and GMG. They leave with the sticka, and they’ll always remember us.

Birthday Mug Up From Fred Bodin

Birthday Mug Up

The Birthday Mug Up party was a great success.  Friends and people walking by came in. All of the food was over the top, most of it being homemade. Thanks to all! Donuts anyone?

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We drank 1.5 gallons of coffee, ate pastries, monkey bread, blueberry scones, smoked salmon, deviled eggs, and Sista’ Felicia’s zucchini pesto with almonds. Although a mug up is a breakfast event, you can see from the debris that this crowd was in a party mood: Beer, Champagne, and Bloody Marys. The photo evidence does not account for all the disposable cups that may have been used as "I’m not drinking – drinking cups." Fun time!

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