asakiyume (asakiyume) wrote,

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William Bullard and the Beaver Brook community of Worcester, MA

Yesterday a friend invited me to see a wonderful exhibition: prints made from newly discovered glass negatives made by the photographer William Bullard. The photos are of people who lived in the Beaver Brook area of Worcester, Massachusetts, from around 1900 to 1912. They're predominately African Americans, but also Native Americans and immigrants--it was a vibrant, diverse community.

Along with explaining who the people in the pictures are, the accompanying plaques included comments from their descendants. For some, these photos are the first images they've seen of their progenitors. In one case, a photo of a house and its residents confirmed longstanding family oral history that the house had been in the family--it's very moving to see/read about history rediscovered and affirmed.

The liveliness and force of personality of the people being photographed carries through so clearly, just looking at them gives you an impression of having met them.

If you live within traveling distance of Worcester, I highly recommend making a trip to see it before it closes (February 25).

Posing on a sled:


I love the wife's smile here and the daughter's quizzical look:


My very favorite, though, is little Luvenia Ward, on the right in this photo, which I snapped myself (hence the unfortunate reflection effect). Lillian and Cora Ward look less certain about this whole photo-taking business:

This entry was originally posted at Comments are welcome at either location.
Tags: art, black history, history, photography, worcester ma
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