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Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Eight photos from the ‘Variety’ collection

October 9, 2020 Phil Kaufman
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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. My father’s profile can be found here.

This week’s theme:

I’ll continue this week with a display similar to last week’s. Instead of focusing on a single theme for the whole week, each day has its own focus.

Again, variety is the spice of life.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Today’s photos:

The shoemaker’s children, the old saying goes, are barefoot. Are the photographer’s children (and other family members) similarly neglected? In my family’s case, no. I have already displayed a few pictures of my family, unidentified as such, within other categories. I’ll show several more today.

But, like the previous photos, today’s are not presented to show off the subjects; they are meant to show off the photographer. With digital, and especially camera-phone technology, every recent parent generates thousands of pictures of their children. Not so decades ago. So, it’s a treat for my family to have quality images of little ones from pre-digital days. Here are a few, starting with four of my two brothers, followed by one where I make a cameo appearance. The rest show babies.

Sleepy and tolerant: Waiting for Dad, 1944

This is one of our family favorites. The children had to wait for Dad to finish some work in the studio before the family went to dinner. Though the older one clearly knew he was being photographed, this shot was not posed. Big brother accepts his role (without enthusiasm) while little brother catches a nap.

I’ll let the next three speak for themselves.


Brothers together: Natural models, early ’40s


New little brother shows his face: I’ve always liked math, c. 1950


Weight-watcher: Tipping the scale at 20 pounds, 1941


Atmosphere: More about mood than cute baby, mid-’40s

An index of Kaufman’s Brooklyn posts may be found here.

Irving Kaufman’s profile may be found here.

I invite you to submit comments, memories, images of Brooklyn, and especially any additional background information you can supply about the photos posted here to [email protected]. I’d also 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 All prints purchased will be the product of professional scanning and editing.

Weekly collections 22 and 23: Photos from the ‘Variety’ collection

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