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Life is like a box of old photos UpCycling

I miss shopping in thrift stores and looking through old books for strange pictures that can be included in my collages. But like most lemons, the corona virus lockdown helped me make a little lemonade. I discovered the world of online auctions (besides eBay). In the past few months I have bid on old magazines, vintage toys and paper ephemera.

A large box arrived at my door last week. It contained more than 100 old black and white photos from one of these auctions. Most photos from the 1940s show a family from Detroit, Michigan.

Old photo

Many photos show two boys, probably brothers.

Old photo
Old photo

A couple of photos show a young girl. I suspect she is a friend or cousin from the neighborhood. (After all, they are holding hands.)

Old photo

I’m not sure, but I like to think that the family visited this poor polar bear at the Detroit Zoo.

Old photo

There are also photos in Hungary. I think the family may have visited their relatives in the “Old Country”.

Old photo
Old photo
Old photo
Old photo
Old photo

The notes on the back of some photos are in Hungarian. On the paper below, each person’s name is carefully written.

Old photo

These young men pretend to cut their friend’s head off with an ax. (My husband tells me that this has been a fad for a while.)

Old photo

Obviously mom and dad have a good sense of humor.

Old photo

But in the photo below, dad looks pretty serious. This could be a scene from The untouchables.

Old photo

Other photos show people from earlier times, like this little girl whose portrait was taken in Paris.

Old photo

What’s going on here?

Old photo

Just married…

Old photo

There are also photos of young men taken in the 1950s. You must be the boys in the previous pictures. I like this because it is a mistake. In fact, a good part of the photos in my box are “bad” – out of focus, poorly composed, overexposed. You don’t see a lot of “bad” photos today – digital cameras and smartphones make it almost impossible to take a bad photo. I feel called to keep these “mistakes”.

Old photo

After “meeting” this family and imagining their life, I would like to honor them in all the collages I make with their photos. Stay tuned…

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Genevieve Naylor’s post-war fashion photos in stunning colors, 1945-1959 Design

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