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[Steve Kaslov working in Romany Coppersmiths workshop, 214 Bowery, New York City] : photoprint

Photographer:
Wendler-Funaro, Carlos de, 1898-1985 (language teacher, also known as Carl Funaro)  Search this
Names:
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Collection Collector:
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989  Search this
Collection Author:
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (unmounted, 4.5 X 3.5 in)
Culture:
Rom  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
Circa 1939-1942
Arrangement:
In Series 7, Subseries 1, Box 5, Folder 4.
Biographical / Historical:
See collection register for information about the Romany Coppersmiths workshop, p. 33.
Local Numbers:
AC0161-0000043 (AC Scan No.)
Exhibitions Note:
Exhibited: "Hidden Americans: Photographs by Carlos de Wendler-Funaro," National Museum of American History, 1992-1993, David Haberstich, curator.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site, by appointment. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection Rights:
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Topic:
Metal-work  Search this
Coppersmiths -- 1930-1950  Search this
Gypsies -- 1920-1980 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Collection Citation:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0161-ref903

[Six men working in Romany Coppersmiths workshop, 214 Bowery, New York City] : photoprint

Photographer:
Wendler-Funaro, Carlos de, 1898-1985 (language teacher, also known as Carl Funaro)  Search this
Collection Collector:
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989  Search this
Collection Author:
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (unmounted, 10 x 8 in. (image size 9 x 7 in.))
Culture:
Rom  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
Circa 1939-1942
Scope and Contents:
The men are giving a not very convincing "demonstration" of metalworking. Two of them hold hammers to bang on a large vessel.
Arrangement:
In Series 7, subseries 1, Box 5, Folder 4.
Biographical / Historical:
See collection register for information about the Romany Coppersmiths workshop, p. 33.
Local Numbers:
Ac0161-0000039 (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site, by appointment. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection Rights:
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Topic:
Metal-work  Search this
Coppersmiths -- 1930-1950  Search this
Gypsies -- 1920-1980 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Collection Citation:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0161-ref905

[Two seated Rom Gypsy men, another one standing, with two children, New York City] : photoprint

Photographer:
Wendler-Funaro, Carlos de, 1898-1985 (language teacher, also known as Carl Funaro)  Search this
Collection Collector:
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989  Search this
Collection Author:
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (unmounted, 10 x 8 in. (image size 9 x 7 in.))
Culture:
Rom  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
Circa 1939-1942
Scope and Contents:
Men are identified as coppersmiths by Salo in register, p. 32. Signed "Funaro" in pencil on verso, with "116" in ink, top left of verso.
Arrangement:
In Series 7, subseries 1, Box 4, Folder 27.
Biographical / Historical:
See collection register for information about the Romany Coppersmiths workshop, p. 33.
Local Numbers:
AC0161-0000035 (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site, by appointment. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection Rights:
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Topic:
Metal-work  Search this
Coppersmiths -- 1930-1950  Search this
Gypsies -- 1920-1980 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Collection Citation:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0161-ref908

Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection

Collector:
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Community Life, Div. of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Photographer:
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989  Search this
Author:
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Names:
Jura, Chaiko (Gypsy leader)  Search this
Kaslov, Pupa  Search this
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Cubic feet (16 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Journals
Dissertations
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Place:
West Virginia -- 1930-1950
New Jersey -- 1930-1950
Maspeth (Queens, Long Island, N.Y.) -- 1930-1950
New York (N.Y.) -- photographs -- 1930-1950
Date:
circa 1920-1975
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 4.3 cubic feet of manuscript, print, and photographic materials created or collected by Carl de Wendler-Funaro (1898-1985) in pursuit of his interest in Gypsy life and culture. (Carlos de Wendler-Funaro used several forms of his name; he wrote mostly as Carl de Wendler-Funaro.) The -collection was brought to the attention of the Division of Community Life, National Museum of American History, by Matt T. Salo and donated to the Smithsonian by Dr. de Wendler-Funarol's widow, Cornelia de Funaro, in May 1985, through Richard E. Ahlborn, Curator.

The number and breadth of the photographic materials, especially, the accompanying documentation and their representation of many Gypsy groups in a single time period, make this collection an important resource for research.

Print and Manuscript Materials

The print and manuscript materials in the collection are organized-into six series: (1) materials for which Carl de Wendler-Funaro is author, co-author or editor; (2) materials about de Wendler-Funaro; (3) correspondence; (4) journals, books, or extracts from them, by various authors; (5) newspaper and magazine articles; (6) photomechanical images from newspapers, magazines, and books.

The manuscript materials include drafts of portions of planned books, reading notes, and Gypsy language notes and transcriptions. De Wendler-Funaro seems to have planned two books. One was to have been a book of his photographs, with accompanying essays describing his encounters with Gypsies, the other a work on Gypsies, especially those in the United States. The major element of the second book was to have been the history of the Rom in this country as told by Steve Kaslov. The second work was to have included the manuscripts, 'The Last Caravan,' on Romnichels in the United States; 'Romanian Gypsies in Maspeth Village,' on the Ludar; 'Hungarian Gypsies,' orx these musicians in the United States; and some folk tale materials. Several outlines for the two books are in the collection.

The draft materials written with Steve Kaslov include an account of the Gypsy leader Chaiko Jura. The account, which seems to approach legend at some points, describes his immigration to the United States, adventures in this country, and death. Also among the draft materials, and intended to follow in the proposed book, is what may be termed an official biography of Steve Kaslov (c. 1888-1949). Apparently tentatively entitled "The Ways of my People,' the manuscript recounts a few incidents, told at length, in the experiences of Kaslov's family and social network from about 1900 to about 1938.

De Wendler-Funaro's notes suggest that the Kaslov biography was dictated to an unnamed lawyer in the early 1930s and given to de Wendler-Funaro in 1934. Kaslov dictated the story of Chaiko to de Wendler-Funaro. (Perhaps this is the source of a statement in the New York Sun, June 20, 1941, that Kaslov had written two books.)

The okaslov manuscripts' are written mostly in a variety of American English common among American Rom. Parts of the biographical section are written in the first person, others in the third. Cultural material includes descriptions of weddings, funerary ritual, business transactions, conflicts and conflict resolution. As factual sources the manuscripts are unreliable: dates, for example, are only very approximate; birth places for Steve Kaslov and his family are incorrect.

Evidence in the manuscripts indicates that de Wendler-Funaro hoped, through 1976, to publish these texts in some form. Apparently Kaslov made a first attempt to publish in 1940, when he sent a draft to Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt sent the manuscript on to George Bye, a literary agent, who returned it in 1941 as unpublishable, calling it a Oterribly disorganized manuscript .... [Kaslov] is now working with a doctor (de Wendler-Funarol who claims to be an author but the results are very unhappy' (Correspondence in FDR Library).

Correspondence in the collection (series 3) includes letters to and from de Wendler-Funaro; drafts of letters by Steve Kaslov, soliciting aid for Gypsy education; and correspondence between the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico, and the U.S. Department of State. According to Mrs. de Funaro, Carl de Wendler-Funaro destroyed his other correspondence before his death.

Many of the books, journals, articles, and extracts in the collection (series 4)- are materials upon which de Wendler-Funarol's dissertation is based. They include typed transcriptions of published articles as well as printed matter; dates of the materials range from 1554 to 1979.

The collection includes about 2,000 photoprints, including multiple copies, and 2,000 negatives. These materials are organized into eleven series: (7) photographs by de Wendler-Funaro: Gypsies in the United States; (8)photographs by de Wendler-Funaro: Gypsies outside the United States; (9) heirloom photographs'; (10) photographs by other creators; (11) photographs ;rom commercial agencies; (12) photographs of non-Gypsies; (13) photocopies, of numbered photos, in numerical order; (14) negatives; (15) contact sheets made from negatives from by the Smithsonian Office of Printing and Photographic Services, 1986; (16) scrapbook sheets; (17) slides made from negatives and prints by the Smithsonian Office of Printing and Photographic. services, 1986.

The original photographs by Carlos de Wendlet-Funaro span the,period 1922 to 1966, but the majority were taken from about 1932 to about 1942. More than half the photographs are of the Rom group of Gypsies in the United States, and most of these were taken in New York City from about 1938 to about 1942. Other original photos by de Wendler-Funaro are of other Gypsy groups in the United States -- Ludar, Romnichels, 'Black Dutch,w and Hungarian musicians -- as well as of Gypsies in Mexico, Holland, Germany, Austria, France, England, and Hungary. Photographs by other creators include copies of portraits collected from Gypsy families, photos by other photographers, and commercial news photographs collected by de Wendler-Funaro.

De Wendler-Funaro seems to have used the photographs to gain access to Gypsy families and communities (many photos show Gypsies examining albums and sets of pictures). Some photographs were published in his 1937 article, and in two articles by Victor Weybright (1938a, 1938b). De Wendler-Funaro apparently also used lantern slides made from these photographs in lectures on the subject of Gypsies; a handbill advertising his availability on the lecture circuit is part of the collection.

Manuscript drafts for book outlines, introductions, and accompanying essays show that de Wendler-Funaro long nurtured hopes of publishing a popular tool-, 'Incorporating his photographs. To this end he numbered and captioned more than a hundred of these; a partial list of captions is part of the manuscript files. For the most part, the captions are not very helpful in understanding Gypsy cultures. Photocopies of these pictures with captions, in numerical order, are in box 8. With some exceptions, most of the photographs can be used to study costume, personal ornament, and kinesics; these will not be listed separately as subjects in the inventory. The photos of the Rom in New York City show several types of traditional costume, contemporary modish dress, and a wide range of variations on both. Taken together with the "heirloom photos' collected from the same group, they show change and variety in men's and women's dress.

In the photographs of individuals and groups one may compare, for example, sitting positions of women with relation to costume and use (or non-use) of chairs.

Most of the photographs of Rom taken in New York City show Gypsies relaxing on stoops or in the street during the summer, a common pastime in their neighborhoods. They contain little culturally specific information other than that discussed above.

Information on housing is most clearly represented in photographs of camps, in which the type of tent and, to some extent, the relationships of tents, are visible. All the tents shown appear to be commercially made. Since it was the practice to raise the tent walls in good weather, many photos also show tent interiors, with wooden platform floors used on non-grassy sites (Rom) or linoleum as a ground cloth (Romnichel). The use of featherbeds; either alone (Rom) or with bedsteads (Romnichel) is documented.

There are few photographs showing the use of interior space in urban storefront or apartment dwellings (Rom). The photographs taken in the Maspeth, Long Island, 'Gypsy village' show exteriors of the shacks built@by the Ludar.

Of cooking and heating equipment, the cast-iron or sheet-metal stoves of the Romnichels are most evident. The Rom are shown using a variety of equipment, the traditional trivet (Mexico), the Coleman-type camp stove (U.S), and the pot-bellied coal stove (New York City).

Photographs of autos and trucks, auto-drawn luggage trailers (Romnichels in the North), and horse-drawn wagons (by the horse and mule trading Romnichels in the South) reveal something of the transport of people and goods.

A few photographs show subjects at work, but most work pictures are static demonstrations or mere associations with productive enterprise. There are demonstrations of coppersmithing and fender repair work (Rom), and manufacture of rustic furniture (Romnichels), as well as posed demonstrations of palm-reading. Romnichels in the South are shown posing with horses and mules. The business that appears most frequently is fortune-telling, through photographs of roadside business tents (Romnichel); amusement, fair, and resort-area tents and stands (Rom); and canvas facades, banners and signs carrying the fortune-teller's message.

Ritual life is poorly represented in the photographs. There are some photos of a funeral procession, and one interior shot of a funeral; two photos of a saint's-day feast; one of a memorial feast; and one set taken in preparation for Christmas festivities. Curiously, there are no photographs of Rom weddings. The dearth of pictures of rituals and celebrations, which form so important a part of Rom life, may be due to difficulties with interior lighting.

Because of internal and other inconsistencies, exact dating of the photographs is often difficult. Discrepancies of as much as ten year occur in some of the dates in de Wendler-Funaro's notes.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into seventeen series.
Biographical / Historical:
According to information supplied by Mrs. de Funaro, Carl de Wendler-Funaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 12, 1898. After attending Boys' High School and Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, he attended the University of Illinois and Cornell University, receiving a bachelor's degree in entolomology from Cornell in 1923. Subsequently he taught foreign languages at New York University, the McBurney School of the YMCA in New York City, Newark Academy and Wagner College. He began graduate work in the late 1930s, and in 1958 earned a doctorate from Columbia University with a dissertation on 'The Gitano in Spanish Literature' (a copy is in the collection, Box 1, folders 2 and 3). De Wendler-Funaro retired from teaching in 1963; he died in Tucson, Arizona on February 15, 1985.

Carl de Wendler-Funaro was an avid amateur collector of insects, especially Coleoptera, as well as shells, minerals, stamps and coins; his insect collections were donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

De Wendler-Funaro's interest in Gypsies, according to his manuscripts, began in childhood. The manuscripts and one published article indicate that this interest continued to be personal, rather than professional,,,,apd @hat,,he, did not pursue his contacts with Gypsies systematically. (it was, not, 'until' the late 1940s that anthropologists began systematic studies of GYPSY.@ cultures.) It appears that de Wendler-Funaro sought out Gypsies in fairgrounds, amusement parks and urban storefronts, collecting specimens of language and taking photographs. Irving Brown's letter to de Wendler-Funaro (1929), and de Wendler-Funarol's article in Leisure (1937) refer to his visits to amusement parks. Some of his Romnichel (English Gypsy) subjects recall him as the man who drove along the roads, stopping to take pictures wherever he saw a tent. About 1938 de Wendler-Funaro became involved with a Committee on Gypsy Problems of the Welfare Council, a social service agency of New York City. This involvement may have been an outgrowth of his association with Steve Kaslov, styled by some a Gypsy king. De Wendler-Funaro seems to have served as Kaslov's amanuensis.
Gypsies in the United States:
Several groups, all known to outsiders as "Gypsies," live today in the United Sates. In their native languages, each of the groups refers to itself by a specific name, but all translate their self-designations as 'Gypsy' when speaking English. Each had its own cultural, linguistic, and historical tradition before coming to this country, and each maintains social distance from the others. An overview of these groups and their interethnic relations is presented in "Gypsy Ethnicity: Implications of Native Categories and Interaction for Ethnic Classification," by Matt T. Salo.

Rom

The Rom arrived in the United States from Serbia, Russia and Austria-Hungary beginning in the 1880s, part of the larger wave of immigration from southern and eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Primary immigration ' ended, for the most part, in 1914, with the beginning of the First World War and subsequent tightening of immigration restrictions (Salo and Salo 1986). Many people in this group specialized in coppersmith work, mainly the repair and retinning of industrial equipment used in bakeries, laundries, confectionaries, and other businesses. The Rom, too, developed the fortune-telling business in urban areas.

Two subgroups of the Rom, the Kalderash ('coppersmiths') and, Machwaya natives of machva,' a county in Serbia) appear in the photographs iiv, this collection. De Wendler-Funaro identified some, but not all, Kalderash as, 'Russian Gypsies.' Another group he identified as "Russian Gypsies' seem, to,, be the Rusniakuria ('Ruthenians'), who in New York are known as musicians and singers.

Ludar

The Ludar, or "Romanian Gypsies,' also immigrated to the United States during the great immigration from southern and eastern Europe between 1880 and 1914. Most of the Ludar came from northwestern Bosnia. Upon their arrival in the United States they specialized as animal trainers and show people, and indeed passenger manifests show bears and monkeys as a major part of their baggage. Most of de Wendler-Funarols photographs of this group were taken in Maspeth, a section of the borough of Queens in New York City, where the Ludar created a village of home-made shacks that existed from about 1925 to 1939, when it was razed. A similar settlement stood in the Chicago suburbs during the same period. One of de Wendler-Funarols manuscripts, "Romanian Gypsies at Maspeth Village,' (box 1, folder 9), and a letter from Ammiee Ellis, a social worker (box 2, folder 2), refer to this settlement.

Romnichels

The Romnichels, or English Gypsies, began to come to the United States from England in 1850. Their arrival coincided with an increase in the demand for draft horses in agriculture and then in urbanization, and many Romnichels worked as horse-traders. After the rapid decline in the horse trade following the First World War, most Romnichels relied on previously secondary enterprises, 'basket-making,* including the manufacture and sale of rustic furniture, and fortune-telling. Horse and mule trading continued to some extent in southern states where poverty and terrain slowed the adoption of tractor power (Salo and Salo 1982).

Photoprints in box 6, folders 2 through 10, correspond with de Wendler-Funarols trip described in his manuscript 'In Search of the Last Caravan' (box 1, folder 10). Discrepancies between this manuscript and the photos should be noted. De Wendler-Funarols notes date this trip variously between 1931 and 1945. I have dated it about 1940. Although one man appears as a frequent subject in the largest set of photos (box 6, folders 22 and 23), in the manuscript, de Funaro mentions having missed meeting him.

'Black Dutch'

Gypsies from Germany, whom de Wendler-Funaro refers to 'as Chikkeners (Pennsylvania German, from the German Zigeuner), sometimes refer to themselves as wblack Dutch.w They are few in number and claim to have largely assimilated to Romnichel culture. They are represented in de Wendler-Punarols photographs by a few portraits of one old man and briefly referred to in the manuscript mIn Search of the Last Caravan.*

Hungarian Gypsies

The Hungarian musicians also came to this country with the eastern European immigration. In the U.S. they continued as musicians to the Hungarian and Slovak immigrant settlements.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Mrs. Cornelia de Funaro, June 26, 1985.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Topic:
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- manuscripts -- Gypsies  Search this
Wagons, Gypsy -- 1920-1980  Search this
Weddings -- manuscripts -- Gypsies  Search this
Orthodox Eastern Church -- Photographs -- 1920-1980  Search this
Tents -- Photographs -- 1920-1980  Search this
Housing -- Photographs -- Wagons -- 1920-1980  Search this
Bears -- performing -- 1920-1980 -- Maspeth (N.Y.)  Search this
Housing -- Photographs -- Tents -- 1920-1980  Search this
Labor and laboring classes -- Photographs -- 1920-1980  Search this
Coppersmiths -- 1930-1950  Search this
Musicians -- 1930-1950  Search this
Furniture-making -- 1930-1950  Search this
Horse-trading -- 1930-1950  Search this
Fortune-telling -- 1930-1950  Search this
Training -- Animals -- 1930-1950  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Gypsies -- 1920-1980 -- United States  Search this
Costume -- Gypsies -- 1920-1980  Search this
Portraits -- Gypsies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1900-1950
Journals -- 1930-1950
Dissertations
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 1930-1950
Manuscripts -- 1920-1970
Citation:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0161
See more items in:
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0161
Additional Online Media:

Alexander Alland, Sr., Photoprints

Creator:
Ostroff, Eugene, d. 1999 (NMAH Curator)  Search this
Salo, Matt, Dr.  Search this
Haberstich, David E., 1941-  Search this
Ahlborn, Richard E.  Search this
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989  Search this
Names:
China Daily News -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
China Daily News -- Photographs  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Davis, Earl  Search this
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies )  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Oral history
Interviews
Audio cassettes
Place:
Virgin Islands -- 1930-1940
New York (N.Y.) -- 1930-1940
Bowery (New York, N.Y.) -- 1930-1940
Chinatown (New York, N.Y.) -- 1930-1940
St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) -- 1930-1940
Date:
1985 - 1986
1930 - 1943
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 273 silver gelatin photoprints (Series 1), most of which apparently were made during the 1930s and early 1940s, contemporaneously with the original negatives. All are 8" x 10" or slightly smaller, unmounted except for flush mounted linen on the backs of some prints. The photographs were made primarily in two locations, New York City and the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands pictures were made as part of a special documentary project in 1939, as described above, whereas the New York photographs stem from Mr. Alland's largely self assigned documentation of various ethnic and religious groups in New York from approximately 1932 to 1943. The projects include photographs of the "Red Bandanna" Romany Gypsy group in the Bowery, a black Jewish congregation, Mohawk Indians in Brooklyn, and other groups, which required extensive exploration, research, and photographing over periods of many days or weeks. A variety of miscellaneous ethnic and religious groups are covered in the general "Other Religions" and "Nationalities" folders. The contents of the "Judaism" folder include primarily New York sites and people, but there are also additional views of a synagogue from the Virgin Islands project.

Series 2 of the collection contains four cassette tape recordings of two interviews with Mr. Alland, three made by Richard Ahlborn (with Eugene Ostroff and Matt Salo) in 1985, and one by David Haberstich and Richard Ahlborn, June 2-3, 1986 (at which time the photographs were donated). The tapes include readings from his autobiography, personal reminiscences on his experiences as an immigrant and a photographer, and commentary on the photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Photoprints, 1930-1943

Series 2: Audiotape Cassettes, 1985-1986

The photographs are arranged topically and by nationality.
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander Alland, Sr., was born in Sevastopol, Crimea (formerly in the Soviet Union) on 6 August 1902. His last name originally was Landschaft, but he legally changed it to Alland following the birth of his son. Alland's interest in photography began at the age of twelve, when he helped a local photographer with darkroom work. He constructed his own camera from cardboard with a simple meniscus lens and exposed glass plate negatives with the device.

Toward the end of the Civil War in Russia in 1920, Alland relocated in Constantinople, Turkey, where he was hired as an apprentice by a graduate of the Vienna Academy of Photography. When the Union Nationale des Combatants Francais went on a pilgrimage to Gallipoli, a former battle zone on the Dardanelles, he was asked to accompany them in order to document events. After having his request for a pay increase refused, he left his employer two years later and opened his own portrait studio, "Photo d'Art Russe." When civil unrest threatened Constantinople in 1923, he decided to emigrate to the United States.

During his first years in the United States he worked in photo finishing businesses while engaged in home portraiture independently. He married in 1929 and a son, Alexander, Jr., was born. In the 1930s he became one of the best known photographers portraying the life of immigrants and various ethnic groups in New York. (1) In 1936 he was appointed supervisor of the Photo Mural section of the W.P.A. Federal Art Project, and worked as a free lance photographer for magazines and periodicals featuring the activities of various ethnic groups living in New York City. He specialized in making photomurals with montage techniques. (2)

In 1937 Alland became photography instructor at the American Artists' School and joined the American Artists Congress. In 1939, his first book, Portrait of New York, was published and he became president of the "Exploration Photo Syndicate" and went to the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of a project to produce a pictorial record of the West Indian Islands. His photographs appeared in publications and were exhibited at the New School for Social Research and at the Schomberg Collection. In 1942 he joined the staff of Common Ground magazine as photography editor and was appointed by the National Youth Administration to supervise their photography workshop. His book American Counterpoint appeared in 1943 and was selected as "One of the Fifty Best Books of the Year." The original prints from that book were exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, which also exhibited a portfolio of his work on American Gypsies. In 1944 he became director of an agency, "Pictures for Democracy," and in 1945 his book The Springfield Plan was proclaimed another "One of the Fifty Best Books of the Year."

During World War II Alland did technical photography for the War Department, receiving a commendation for this work. After another book My Dog Rinty was published, he left New York City to establish a school of photography, combined with a school of dance directed by his wife, Alexandra, a professional dancer and choreographer. (3) He then began to exhibit his own photographs and to collect glass plate negatives and vintage prints by significant photographers. He is perhaps best known for locating a collection of Jacob Riis negatives and making them available. In 1974 Aperture published his biography, Jacob A. Riis: Photographer and Citizen4. Because of his efforts in providing the Riis negatives to the Museum of the City of New York, that institution awarded a special commemorative medal to him in 1973. The Riis book was followed by two more studies of photographers, Jessie Tarbox Beals, First Woman News Photographer (5) and Heinrich Tonnies, Cartes de Visite Photographer Extraordinaire. (6)

Retrospective exhibitions of Alland's work were held in two major Danish museums in summer 1979 and he was honored for contributions to the cultural history of Denmark. In 1991 studies for his photomural work were included in an historical survey exhibition of American photomontage at the University of Maryland at College Park. (7).

Sources

1. My text is based upon the biographical information recorded on my taped interviews with Mr. Alland in this collection, but see also Bonnie Yochelson, The Committed Eye: Alexander Alland's Photography. New York: The Museum of the City of New York, Inc., 1991.

2. Merry A. Foresta, "Art and Document: Photography of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project," in Official Images: New Deal Photography (essays by Foresta, Pete Daniel, Maren Stange, and Sally Stein), Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987, p. 153, based on an interview with Alland, January 1987.

3. Photographic historian Anne Peterson, contractor for three Archives Center photographic collection projects between 1986 and 1982, reports that she studied ballet as a child with Mrs. Alland.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid

7. See catalog by Cynthia Wayne, Dreams, Lies, and Exaggeration: Photomontage in America. The Art Gallery, University of Maryland at College Park, 1991 (exhibition at the gallery Oct. 21 Dec. 20, 1991).
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Carlos de Wendler Funaro Gypsy Research Collection (AC0161)

Contains additional Alland photographs. De Wendler Funaro also photographed Steve Kaslov, his family, and his Bowery coppersmith workshop.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Alexander Alland, June 3, 1986.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Copyrighted material: photographs may not be reproduced without written permission from the Estate of Alexander Alland, Sr.
Topic:
Synagogues -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York, N.Y.  Search this
Newspapers -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Muslims -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Minorities -- Housing -- 1930-1940 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Minorities -- Housing -- 1930-1940 -- Virgin Islands  Search this
Judaism -- Customs and practices  Search this
Housing -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Immigrants -- 1930-1940 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Housing -- 1930-1940 -- Virgin Islands  Search this
Buddhism -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Catholic Church -- Liturgy  Search this
Chinese drama -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Churches -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Clergy -- 1930-1940 -- United States  Search this
Coppersmiths -- 1930-1950  Search this
Ethnic costume  Search this
Ethnic groups -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Falashas -- 1930-1940 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Fortune-tellers -- Gypsies -- 1930-1940 -- United States  Search this
Pluralism  Search this
Poverty -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- Virgin Islands  Search this
Printing -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Protestant churches -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Religious and ecclesiastical institutions -- Photographs -- 1930-1940 -- New York N.Y.  Search this
Singers -- 1930-1950  Search this
Synagogues -- 1930-1940 -- Virgin Islands  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Audio cassettes -- 1980-1990
Citation:
Alexander Alland, Sr., Photoprints, 1932-1943, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of the artist.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0204
See more items in:
Alexander Alland, Sr., Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0204
Additional Online Media:

La dinanderie française : 1900-1950 / Dominique Forest, Marie-Cécile Forest

Author:
Forest, Dominique  Search this
Forest, Marie-Cécile  Search this
Physical description:
251 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
France
Date:
1995
C1995
20th century
Topic:
Copperwork--History--Catalogs  Search this
Coppersmiths--Biography--Dictionaries  Search this
Tinware--History--Catalogs  Search this
Tinsmiths--Biography--Dictionaries  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_510612

[Trade catalogs from Fred V. Wilbert]

Company Name:
Fred V. Wilbert  Search this
Notes content:
Hand and machine forged steel tools for blacksmiths , woodchoppers , coppersmiths , coopers , boilermakers , brickmasons , loggers , pipemakers , machinists , stonemasons , ironworkers , rope , track and sugar cane .
Includes:
Trade catalog
Black and white images
Physical description:
1 piece; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
San Francisco, California, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Iron and steel products (castings; sheet steel; steel wire; wire rope; pig iron and structural steel products )  Search this
Hardware and hand tools  Search this
Topic:
Hardware  Search this
Iron industry and trade  Search this
Steel industry and trade  Search this
Tools  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_28367
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_28367

[Trade catalogs from Kenneth Lynch & Sons]

Company Name:
Kenneth Lynch & Sons  Search this
Related companies:
Kenneth Lynch ; Kenneth Lynch & Sons, Inc. ; A. M. Byers Co. ; F. H. McGraw & Co. ; Kenneth Lynch & Son, Inc. ; Kenneth Lynch Inc. (NY)  Search this
Notes content:
"The Book of Garden Ornament: 2076" ; figures ; weathervanes ; clocks ; urns ; stone balusters ; shingles and siding ; stone , "Canterbury Bronze" or "Eternity Lead" statuary ; benches ; "Devotional Pieces" , religious themed sculpture ; "Japanese Stone Lanterns" ; other Asian-inspired sculpture ; animal sculptures ; tablets and plaques ; finials ; planters ; bird baths ; topiary forms ; "rain trees" ; pool systems for fountains ; pedestals ; sundials ; stanchions ; "snow guards ; "bollards" ; steel curbing ; door knockers and shoe scrapers ; treillage ; trellises ; andirons ; other fireplace equipment ; "Outdoor Cooking" supplies ; charcoal grill and accessories ; art gallery and museum equipment ; reflectors ; picture rods ; picture wire and picture chain ; show cases ; other art gallery and museum supplies ; other decorative lawn and garden pieces ; "A Steeple and A Weathervane" , detailing the reconstruction of the steeple and weathervane of the "Old North Church" or "Christ Church" damaged by Hurricane Carol in 1954 [a successor to the church steeple that Robert Newman hung lanterns in to give Paul Revere the signal regarding the British invasion] in Boston, MA , in cooperation with the A. M. Byers Co. and F. H. McGraw & Co. ; "Manship" or "Outdoor Sculpture by Paul Manship" [the sculptor of the "Prometheus" figure in Rockefeller Center] ; "Ornaments and Symbols of Eternity Lead for Stained Glass, Lighting Fixtures and Other Ornamental Purposes" . 3 pieces in Oversize : Stone , lead , bronze , and other metal garden ornaments ; wrought iron and ironwork ; garden furniture and accessories ; bronze tablets ; decorations ; "Handbook of Church Lighting" with layouts and fixtures ; smithing tools ; anvils ; coppersmithing tools ; silversmithing tools ; Two Guernsey's auction catalogs from 1985 included: "Smithing tools and items related to the art of smithing;" "Architectural, Ornamental and Decorative Objects;"
Includes:
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
Physical description:
18 pieces; 4 boxes
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Wilton, Connecticut, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Architectural designs and building materials  Search this
Brass; bronze and specialty metals  Search this
Ceramics; pottery; glass; crystal; china; bricks; and stones  Search this
Clocks and watches (including clock-making and watch-making equipment)  Search this
Foods and beverage products and processing equipment (including brewing; distilleries; beer; wine; etc.)  Search this
Furniture and furnishings  Search this
Garden and lawn equipment and supplies  Search this
Hardware and hand tools  Search this
Iron and steel products (castings; sheet steel; steel wire; wire rope; pig iron and structural steel products )  Search this
Lighting (electric; gas; candle; oil; etc.)  Search this
Metalwork products (architectural and ornamental)  Search this
Religious paraphernalia  Search this
Weathervanes and lightning rods  Search this
Topic:
"Decoration and ornament, Architectural"  Search this
Architectural design  Search this
Architectural metal-work  Search this
Art metal-work  Search this
Beverage industry  Search this
Brass  Search this
Bronze  Search this
Building materials  Search this
Candles  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Distilleries  Search this
Food industry and trade  Search this
Furniture industry and trade  Search this
Garden ornaments and furniture  Search this
Garden tools  Search this
Glass  Search this
Hardware  Search this
House furnishings  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Iron industry and trade  Search this
Lamps  Search this
Lighting  Search this
Lightning conductors  Search this
Lightning rods  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_28230
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_28230

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