circa 11000 negatives (photographic) (black and white and color, 2.5 x 2.5 inches or smaller)
circa 5000 Photographic prints (silver gelatin, black and white, 8 x 10 inches or smaller)
circa 20 Linear feet (Manuscript Materials)
5.4 Linear feet (Office Files)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Transkei (South Africa)
Natal (South Africa)
Soweto (South Africa)
Eastern Transvaal (South Africa)
Zululand (South Africa)
Ixopo (South Africa)
Pretoria (South Africa)
Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
The collection dates from 1900 to 1997 and mostly includes images taken in South Africa. The images document the peoples of South Africa, particularly the Loved, Ndebele, San, Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu peoples. Locations photographed include Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Johannesburg, Natal, Pretoria, Soweto, Swaziland, Transkei, Transvaal, the Umzimkulu Valley and Zululand. Manuscript and office files include clippings, correspondence, exhibition announcements, invitations and reviews, notes, essays, receipts, and other materials that document Larrabee's career, family history, and personal life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection dates from 1900 to 1997 and mostly includes images taken in South Africa. The images document the peoples of South Africa, particularly the Lovedu, Ndebele, San, Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu peoples. Locations photographed include Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Johannesburg, Natal, Pretoria, Soweto, Swaziland, Transkei, Transvaal, the Umzimkulu Valley and Zululand.
Notable people photographed include Noel Coward, Gwen Ffangcon Davies, Athol Fugard, Nadine Gordimer, Norman Hackforth, Freida Lock, Ivor Novello, Alan Paton, Alexis Preller, Gerard Sekoto, and Marda Vanne.
The manuscript materials and office files are comprised of clippings, correspondence, exhibition announcements, invitations and reviews, notes, essays, receipts, and other manuscript materials that document Larrabee's career, family history, and personal life.
Arranged by format into 3 series:
Series 1: Photographs, circa 1936-circa 1988
Series 2: Manuscript Materials, circa 1936-circa 1996
Series 3: Office Files, 1900-1997
Photographer Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000) was best known for her images taken in South Africa. Born in Cornwall, England, she was raised in Pretoria. She 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 artists at the Bauhaus. 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 American Sterling Larrabee 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 of Man (Museum of Modern Art, 1955); Tribal Photographs (Corcoran Art Gallery, 1984; and Go Well, My Child (National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986).
Donated by Constance Stuart Larabee in 1986 and 1998.
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
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 Institution.
The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Brochure with cover photographs of Noel Coward and a female, advertising opening of Constance Stuart's photography studio at A14, Annan House (First Floor), 86 Commissioner Street (opposite the Corner House).
Newspaper clipping entitled "Jeep Trek", regarding forthcoming book by Constance Stuart about her war photography in Cairo, Rome, and other cities in Europe; the book will be in diary form and begin with events on July 15, 1944.
Pamphlet [16 pages] entitled "Pretoria ...A City of Culture..." issued by the Pretoria Centre of the South African Society of Music Teachers, with article by Constance Stuart entitled "Photography As Art" on page 16.
Newspaper clipping entitled "First Show By Professional Photographers," describing first exhibition of work of members of the Transvaal Division of the Professional Photographers Association of South Africa and mentioning the "remarkable talents" of Co...
Newspaper clipping entitled "The World Goes By... By Alan Nash," mentioning the upcoming exhibition of Constance Stuart's photography of Basutos at the Argus Gallery. [Handwritten notation in red pencil: "Cape Times March 6/43"].