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Posts Tagged ‘Carol M. Highsmith’

Memorial Day

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 27, 2011

Some images for Memorial Day from the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog [LC] and the National Archives [ARC].

Memorial Day, Vietnam Memorial, Washington, D.C. 2006. By Carol Highsmith. LC-DIG-highsm- 04895

Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Decorating a soldier's grave in one of the Negro sections on Memorial Day, 1943. LC-DIG-fsa-8d44865


Lest we forget. France 1918. LC-USZ62-64122

President Truman attends the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This photo shows the wreath laying at the tomb., 05/30/1948 ARC Identifier 199733

A bugler blows taps at the close of Memorial Day service at Margraten Cemetery, Holland, where lie thousands of American heroes of World War II., 04/30/1945 ARC Identifier 531299


Aisne - Marne American Cemetery, 1928 ARC Identifier 532062

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From the Highsmith Archive: Cuba, Part 2

Posted by Laurie Frost on February 17, 2011

Of the 416 photographs of Cuba in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress, a number are images of art in public places, from amateur murals to sculpture to funerary statues. Here are some examples.

Credit line for each photograph should read: The Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Mural showing the Cuban flag and Che Guevara. LC--DIG-highsm-06012

Dragones Street, in the Chinatown section of Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06070

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From the Carol M. Highsmith Archive: Havana, Cuba

Posted by Laurie Frost on January 30, 2011

Early in 2010, before arriving in Alabama to document life in that state in the early 21st century, photographer Carol Highsmith added to her archive at the Library of Congress 416 photographs of contemporary Havana, Cuba. Her subjects include 16th century Morro Castle and Castillo de la Real Fuerza,  and  interiors and exterior views of well-preserved, palatial buildings, e.g. the nation’s capitol (“El Capitolio”), alongside examples of deteriorating buildings bearing remanants of their former architectural grandeur. In a second post I’ll show you examples of her photos of public art in Havana.

Credit line for each photograph should read:

The Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Havana, Cuba. LC-DIG-highsm-06188

Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana, Cuba. After Havana was destroyed in 1555 by the French pirate Jacques de Sores, the Spanish Crown built a more solid fortress to replace the original, ineffectual tower known as La Fuezza Vieja. In 1558 they began work on Castillo de la Real Fuerza. It was completed in 1577. There is a moat that surrounds the fortress and a drawbridge leading the to main building. It was restored in 1963 and is a museum. LC-DIG-highsm-06057

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Laurie Frost on January 16, 2011

Today’s images are in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The first two are from the Library of Congress. Those with ARC Identifiers are from the National Archives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964. LC-DIG-ppmsc-01269


Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Fulton, GA. HABS GA,61-ATLA,48-

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Is Carol M. Highsmith the Most Generous Artist of Our Time?

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 27, 2009

100,000 public domain digital images:  That is the estimated number of images  that Carol M. Highsmith (b. 1946) will one day have provided the public for their personal, educational, or commercial use all for the price of a credit line.  Since 1992, Carol M. Highsmith has donated her work and assigned her rights to the Library of Congress, and in 2002 began providing digital scans or digital photos, which will speed up the archiving of her images.  So far, over 2500  photos have been posted on the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog’s Highsmith Archive, and thousands more are in process.


Library of Congress  [LC-DIG-highsm-01951] Library of Congress [LC-DIG-highsm-01951 


Her photos have been featured in some 50 books with over 1.5 million copies sold. Apparently, she was smart and kept hold of her rights to her work!

 Appropriately enough, Highsmith has contributed hundreds of exterior and interior views of the Library of Congress.

Highsmith’s generosity was inspired by that of Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952):

She gave the Library of Congress copy-right free about 50,000 images. That was the cornerstone of their prints and photographs division. I felt it imperative to photograph the turn of this century as well as my lifetime and work with the Library of Congress to help them build their collection of new images. [see]

Johnston studied in Paris before returning to the US in 1890 and opening a photography studio. Her subjects ranged from presidents and tycoons to coal miners and sharecroppers. Here are a few examples form the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection:

Self-Portrait, 1896  [LC-USZ62-64301] Self-Portrait, 1896 [LC-USZ62-64301 

Neith Boyce Hapgood  [LC-USZ62-95740]

Neith Boyce Hapgood [ LC-USZ62-95740

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Carol Highsmith: Generosity of Spirit

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 27, 2009

I had a lovely surprise in my email this morning: notification of a comment from Carol Highsmith regarding an earlier post,  “Is Carol M. Highsmith the Most Generous Artist of Our Time?”.

Carol Highsmith is a highly regarded photographer who is donating her work, as it is created, to the Library of Congress and placing it in the public domain for free use, asking only for a credit line.

I cannot tell you how exceptional this is.

Anyway, this is what Ms. Highsmith wrote me.

Thank you for running this feature about my work. Yes, I am dedicated to leaving behind a large body of work depicting America during the turn of the 21st Century just as Frances Benjamin Johnston did 100 years ago. 90% of my collection is either on 4×5 film or my current 39 megapixel Phase One camera. I work in large format so that 100 years from now people can study each image and see the detail.

There was a book published about Ms. Johnston entitled “A Talent for Detail” and since she is my mentor, I want to follow exactly in her footsteps. I travel throughout America most of the year documenting everything and often going way out of my way to catch something small or special that I think might be appreciated 200 – 2000 years from now. Route 66, back roads, small town America, urban neighborhoods, national parks, aerials and much more. I love what I do.

And this is what she does (LA descriptions are Highsmith’s as well):

First stop: Los Angeles.



 The (1954) sign, as much as the baked goods, is the lure at Randy’s Donuts, in Inglewood, California. One roadside-attractions website notes that because of its proximity to an L.A. freeway, the sign gets frequent ’smog and soot scrubs.|04/07/05|01409 (digital file from LC-HS503-532)

Mann’s (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre is the ultimate Hollywood tourist attraction, with crowds often jamming the patio to inspect handprints of movie stars. The opening of Grauman’s in 1927 was the most spectacular theater opening in film history. 04/07/05, LC-DIG-pplot-13725-01364 (digital file from LC-HS503-489)

Then back east to Virginia:

Washington & Lee University Liberty Hill Ruins in Lexington, Virginia, 9/29/02, LC-DIG-pplot-13600-01214 (digital file from LC-HS503-363)


And finally, this great shot. Can you guess what this is?


Second floor corridor. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.[LC-DIG-highsm-03179]

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