5115 negatives (photographic) (black and white, 2.5 x 2.5 inches)
3,000 Photographic Prints (silver gelatin, black and white, 8 x 10 inches or smaller)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Transkei (South Africa)
Natal (South Africa)
Soweto (South Africa)
Eastern Transvaal (South Africa)
Zululand (South Africa)
Ixopo (South Africa)
The majority of the photographs were taken by Constance Stuart Larrabee during her career as a photographer in South Africa, 1941-1945. The images document the peoples of South Africa in Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Johannesburg, Natal province (including an Anglican Mission school, the town of Ixopo, and the south coast), Soweto, Swaziland, Transkei, eastern Transvaal, the Umzimkulu Valley and Zululand.
Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000) photographer; born in England, raised in Pretoria, South Africa; studied photography in London (1933-1935) and at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography in Munich (1935-1936), where she was influenced by the avant-garde work of the Bauhaus school. Returning to South Africa, Larrabee set up a studio and photographed many leading cultural and political figures of the period. During World War II she served as South Africa's first woman war correspondent, and in 1950 she married an American and moved to the United States.
Larrabee began photographing the peoples of South Africa in the late 1930s. She published extensively, including a portfolio produced for the book, Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1948). Her work has appeared in exhibits throughout the world, including the following: "The Lovedu" in Pretoria, 1947; "The Family Man" at the Museum of Modern Art, 1955; "Tribal Photographs" at the Corcoran Art Gallery, 1984; and "Go Well, My Child" at the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA), 1986.
Donated by Constance Stuart Larabee in 1986 and 1998.
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Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection, EEPA 1998-006, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Insituation.
The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.