Monday, June 14, 2010


The Eastman Kodak Company has donated its archive of Colorama images — the huge panoramic photographs that were displayed as advertisements in the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal for four decades beginning in 1950 — to the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, the museum announced on Friday. Coloramas, towering backlighted transparencies that were 18 feet high and 60 feet wide, were promoted by Kodak as “the world’s largest photographs.” More than 500 were publicly displayed, for runs of three weeks each.

They often contained idealized depictions of American daily life, usually showing a Kodak camera being used to photograph a family, activity or beautiful scene. The archive gift includes display images of all Coloramas, including those that were never displayed, along with research documents, negatives and other prints and files. An exhibition of 36 Coloramas, focusing on the 1960s, will be on view at the Eastman House from Saturday through Oct. 17.

From Kodak Gives ‘World’s Largest Photographs’ to Museum in today's New York Times

Viewing the Kodak Coloramas one might conclude that America is white, heterosexual, well-dressed, and travels a pristine world where there is no squalor or company other than our own white, heterosexual, well-dressed selves.

Rather than the diverse colorama that we really are.

Still: Stunning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The images in these Coloramas are of wonderful days gone by. We now get to enjoy street corners lined with drug dealers and crack houses. Gang shoots and crime run rampant. Do you see the connection? I'll take "heterosexual white america" any day!

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