Photo of the Week: Fine Art Photography

Astroland Park with Happyface and bottom half of Wonder Wheel (panoramic), 2006, 2008.035.1, Ron Meisel photographs, 2008.035; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Astroland Park with Happyface and bottom half of Wonder Wheel (panoramic), 2006, 2008.035.1, Ron Meisel photographs, 2008.035; Brooklyn Historical Society.

In addition to the thousands of historical photographs in Brooklyn Historical Society’s collections, there are also a few smaller collections of fine art photography created by contemporary artists. The photo of the week depicts a panoramic view of Astroland Park in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn taken by local photographer Ron Meisel in 2006. Astroland was an amusement park in Coney Island that operated from around 1962 until 2008.

This photograph was taken using a Hasselblad Xpan camera and color negative film. The Xpan is a viewfinder camera that exposes a frame with dimensions of 24mm by 65mm that creates the panoramic effect. Meisel has more panoramic work on display at the Phylis Stigliano Gallery in Park Slope. To see more of Meisel’s work, check out this online gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Flatbush + Main Episode 06: School Segregation in Brooklyn

In episode 06 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia explore the complicated relationship between race, power, and policy in Brooklyn’s educational system over two centuries. They speak with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and historian Ansley Erickson about the rezoning of one Brooklyn school, P.S. 307, and the roots of school segregation in New York City. They head into the archives to analyze an 1863 letter written by William J. Wilson, an educational leader in Brooklyn’s African American community. In “Voices of Brooklyn,” they listen to the experiences of Mary Barksdale, who served as a local school board representative and president of the parent-teachers association in her son’s school in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York. Finally, they get a glimpse into one of BHS’s most innovative after school programs from Shirley Brown-Alleyne, BHS Manager of Teaching and Learning.

For complete show notes, go to brooklynhistory.org/flatbush-main.

Index

02:28 – Histories and Ideas: Interview with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ansley Erickson
18:23 – Into the Archives: William J. Wilson’s Letter to Henry Stiles
28:39 – Voices of Brooklyn: Mary Barksdale
37:35 – BHS’s Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) Program

Segment 1: Histories and Ideas

Our interview with New York Times Magazine Staff Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones and Assistant Professor of History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University was powerful, thought-provoking, and a lot of fun.

Ep 06 interview

Read Nikole’s New York Times article about P.S. 307 here. Make sure to check out the graphic entitled “HOW THE CITY REZONED TWO BROOKLYN SCHOOLS.” It will give you a good sense of the former “postage stamp” zoning of P.S. 307 that Nikole describes.

We also touched on Ansley’s important new book,Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and its Limits, in the interview.

Segment 2: Into the Archives

The William J. Wilson letter we discuss can be found in the Henry Reed Stiles papers at BHS (box 1, folder 4).

Here are images of the letter:

You can learn more about Wilson in BHS’s long term exhibition, In Pursuit of Freedom, on display in the Shellens Gallery. Explore the exhibition’s accompanying website.

Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn

The oral history interview with Mary Barksdale featured in this episode of Flatbush + Main is from the Sarita Daftary-Steel collection of East New York oral histories. BHS Archivist John Zarrillo is currently completing the processing of this collection, and recommended the interview to us. Once the finding aid is complete, we will update this post with a link.

Below is the full interview with Mary Barksdale:

As a bonus segment, we hear from veteran museum educator and BHS Manager of Teaching and Learning (PreK-5th grade) Shirley Brown-Alleyne. Shirley shares observations and insights about one BHS program, Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) – and how it’s turning fourth and fifth graders into budding historians. Learn more about CASA here.

And here are some images from the amazing book that a recent CASA cohort authored.

Segment 4: Endorsements

Julie endorsed the upcoming program “Block by Block: Exploring Brooklyn with Pat Kiernan and Bill Helmreich.” On October 5, 2016, at 6:30pm, NY1’s beloved anchor sits down with City College Sociologist Helmreich to discuss the latter’s new book, The Brooklyn Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide – and how Helmreich walked all 816 miles of Brooklyn’s streets to write it. Tickets are $10; you can buy them here.

Zaheer endorsed “Nerd is No Longer Niche: An Influential Industry’s Growing Pains,” an October 24, 2016 program (starts at 7pm). A panel including Susana Polo (founder of The Mary Sue), Jill Pantozzi (The Nerdy Bird), Cynthia Francillon (Black Girl Nerds), and Amy Imhoff (Shoes and Starships) consider gender and sexism in this dynamic cultural movement. Tickets are $10; get them here.

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Photo of the Week: Fall

Fall [Prospect Park West], ca. 1905, V1981.15.207, Ralph Irving Lloyd lantern slides, V1981.15; Brooklyn Historical Society

Fall [Prospect Park West], ca. 1905, V1981.15.207, Ralph Irving Lloyd lantern slides, V1981.15; Brooklyn Historical Society

Last Thursday marked the first day of fall, and it happens to be my favorite time of year in Brooklyn. I love the autumnal colors, the crisp air, and the abundant apple varieties! With that in mind, the photo of the week is titled “Fall” and depicts the tree-lined sidewalk along the stone wall bordering Prospect Park West on a rainy day in autumn, around 1905. In the distance is a small group of people walking on the sidewalk. Last year, I featured a similar photograph titled “Summer” by the same photographer. Which one is your favorite?

This photograph comes from the Ralph Irving Lloyd lantern slides collection that comprises roughly 400 black-and-white lantern slides by Lloyd that depict 17th, 18th, and 19th century houses, homesteads and street scenes of Brooklyn. Lloyd was a Brooklyn ophthalmologist by trade and an avid amateur photographer. To view more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Photo of the Week: Othmer Library

[Othmer Library, Long Island Historical Society], circa 1938, V1974.031.65, Long Island Historical Society photographs, V1974.031; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Othmer Library, Long Island Historical Society], circa 1938, V1974.031.65, Long Island Historical Society photographs, V1974.031; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Have you had the opportunity to visit Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library? If not, you’re in for a treat when you do. The New York City interior landmark was built in 1881 and features a unique truss system, beautiful stained glass, ornately-detailed shelving, and columns made of black ash wood. It is one of the most comprehensive collection of materials on Brooklyn history and culture, and includes over 33,000 books, 1,600 archival collections, 1,200 oral history interviews, 50,000 photographs, 2,000 maps, 8,000 artifacts, and 300 paintings. The library is open to the public and we would love for you to visit during public research hours, Wednesday through Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

The photo of the week depicts the Othmer Library around 1938. This photograph comes from the Long Island Historical Society photographs collection which comprises black and white photographic prints, color photographic prints, and contact sheets documenting the BHS building, as well as the activities of the Long Island Historical Society (now BHS). The bulk of the photographs from this collection are from 1925 to 1980.  If you can’t make the trip to visit the library in person, this collection is the next best thing! We no longer have couches or paintings hanging from the railings, but we have wifi and a comfortable space for research. Check out more photographs from this collection here.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

 

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Photo of the Week: 19th Century Brooklyn photographs

[Man with camera and boy], ca. 1880., v1974.7.45, Adrian Vanderveer Martense Collection, v1974.7.45; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Man with camera and boy], ca. 1880., v1974.7.45, Adrian Vanderveer Martense Collection, v1974.7.45; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Brooklyn Historical Society has many rich photography collections documenting Brooklyn from the mid-1800s to the present. One particular strength of the photography collections is the photographs depicting 19th century Brooklyn. The Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, Emmanuel house lantern slide collection, Ralph Irving Lloyd lantern slides, and William Koch glass plate negatives collection are good starting points if you’re interested in Brooklyn history or photography during this period. Nothing beats looking at an original 19th-century photograph in person, so stop by the Othmer Library during public research hours to see for yourself!

The photo of the week depicts a man named Mr. Sherrill holding a box camera next to his young son in an unknown neighborhood of Brooklyn, sometime around 1880. This photograph comes from the Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection comprising of lantern slides and photographs taken by Martense, documenting Brooklyn during the late 19th century. Some highlights of the collection include informal portraits of people in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and photographs of the Blizzard of 1888. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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