The Depression was in colour?

29 Jul

I don’t know about you, but in my imagination, the whole world was in black and white before the prevalence of colour photography. Which is why these photos – a handful of the few colour photos taken of the Great Depression – kind of blow my mind. They’re really beautiful, but they also don’t make sense. It looks like a bunch of people circa 1970 decided to switch up their usual civil war re-enactment hobby time in favour of a ‘great depression’ theme.

In tangential news, depression (as in the mental illness) really does make everything look grey.

Thanks to Sara Knelman and Bryan Wendorf for the links.


3 Responses to “The Depression was in colour?”

  1. Stacy July 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I always think the same thing when I see colour images or films of WWII. Seeing colour images, it kind of jars me, I realize this history is not as long past as black and white images make it feel. Great post Jen!

    • jmatotek July 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

      Thanks Stacy. Now that I’ve thought about it more – it’s so weird that it’s easier for me to visualize things in a particular way that happened hundreds of years ago…just because they were documented in colour through the medium of painting (vs. B&W photography). Maybe if there were more paintings of the Great Depression it would become a more accessible history? Colour is a funny thing.


  1. Russia, in colour, 100 years ago « New New New Blog - August 23, 2010

    […] Aug Following up on the colour photos of the Depression I posted awhile ago – here’s some pictures that are even more stunning. They are images […]

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