Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Real winter
My father, Irving Kaufman (1910 – 1982), was a professional photographer who started in Brooklyn in the mid 1930s working for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He captured thousands of images of Brooklyn through the 1950s. I have recently digitized a great many of them.
I am delighted to work with the Eagle on an ongoing project to display some of those photos. Our goal is to highlight Brooklyn as it used to be, for your pleasure and edification, as well as to pay tribute to my father’s remarkable photography. His profile can be found here.
This week’s photos are all about “Having Fun.” There are lots of different ways to have fun. What’s fun for one may be torture to another (Running — on purpose?; Monopoly — you must be kidding!). Indoors, outdoors; young, older; physical, cerebral; alone, with random others or with special others.
Today’s two pictures have water in common. OK, that’s a stretch. They’re both recreational activities that people usually participate in with many others, mostly strangers, and with no particular format or orderliness. One’s a winter activity, the other summer, though indoor variations of both have let us overcome nature.
Real winter, mid-’30s
This is a classic, old-fashioned winter scene. Everybody in town, out skating on a firmly frozen lake. I can’t supply any information. The negative is glass and was in a box with other old glass images, but none with anything resembling this scene. Unless my father snuck it in or mistakenly mixed in a shot taken elsewhere, I have to assume this is Brooklyn. If you recognize it or can even make a guess, please let me know.
The most luxurious in the world, undated
It doesn’t look particularly luxurious here, does it? It’s crowded and chaotic. But when staged properly, as this group did in their advertising, it seemed quite impressive: Olympic-sized, enormous mirrored ceiling, a spectator level, a waterfall, mosaics, and art deco accents. Though eventually opened up to outsiders for a fee, it was originally for hotel guests only. “Which hotel?” you ask. The St. George, of course.
I invite you to submit comments, memories, images of Brooklyn, and especially any additional background information you can supply about the photos posted here. I’d be glad to supply information about buying prints of any of the images seen here. Many of my father’s images are also available for viewing and purchase at http://yourartgallery.com/irvingkaufmanstudios. All prints purchased will be the product of professional scanning and editing.
The Eagle’s most recent Kaufman’s Brooklyn post was, “Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Cooling off NY style.”
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