Social Framework: Photographs by Marion Palfi, 1945-1960

Description

"Social Framework: Photographs by Marion Palfi, 1945-1960," is a collection of photographs taken by Marion Palfi, a member of the New York Photo League. This collection captures a diverse spectrum of the American population and daily life from the end of the Second World War to 1960.
Palfi often chose to go where other photographers either did not go, or where they could not gain access. In so doing, Palfi used her camera to study society and document people who were often "forgotten" by mainstream society, but never-the-less constituted part of the American social fabric.
Therefore, aspects of social and economic life from the mid-1940s to the 1960s that were not presented in textbooks or other media during that period, are represented in the photos. For example, the collection features African American servicemen in uniform, as well as photographs of African Americans working in a wartime factory plant.

The economic disparity in the lives of the working class is evident in images of people waiting in line for jobs at an employment office, and in images of dilapidated housing in poor neighborhoods. The daily lives of southern African Americans is captured in photos of farming, church schools, laborers, and country scenes. Evidence of the racial discrimination African Americans endured at the hands of Jim Crow are imprinted on photographs of "Whites Only" segregation signs appearing on storefronts.
In addition to Southern scenes, New York's Harlem neighborhood is also displayed prominently. Photographs of Harlem buildings and residents, as well as of building entrances, including the now defunct Sydenham Hospital, were immortalized by Palfi's lens.

Pages

untitled
Trinity School students using heavy machinery in their shop class. Photograph from scrapbook entitled, "Picture Story of Trinity School." Caption reads: STUDENTS IN THE SHOP GETTING THE FEEL OF THE MACHINERY.
untitled
View of Shepard Hall and its tower on the campus of the City College of New York, 1945. Caption reads: NY City College
untitled
African American childen sitting in a rural, one-room school house in Alabama. Photograph from scrapbook entitled, "Picture Story of Trinity School."
untitled
Office scene of two male professionals both African American at a desk conversing. In the center and older African American woman is also seated.
untitled
Students filing out of Van Wagenen Hall located on the grounds of the Lincoln School in Marion, Alabama. Caption reads: VAN WAGENEN HALL Verso reads: Lincoln School Marion, Ala.
untitled
View of a pile of rubble near a building with a water tower. Caption reads: Carpentry
untitled
Three young women seated playing Chinese Checkers as a fourth student looks on. Verso reads: Dillard
untitled
A view of the ground with a crack in it. Caption reads: Poor housing
untitled
Harlem (N.Y.) Billards storefront and apartment building. Caption reads: Harlem slum
untitled
Engaged in exercise with their hands raised, an all-female class is pictured at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Verso reads: Dillard
untitled
Three male officers seated around a Singer sewing machine conducting a monetary transaction at the Brick Federal Credit Union in Bricks, North Carolina. Caption reads: Officers of the highly successful Brick Federal Credit Union.
untitled
Scene of a concrete stairway in an urban area stacked with discarded items such as wheel barrows and the bottom cross members of shipping containers. A cat sits in the foreground on top of some of the debris. Verso reads: slum area
untitled
School children playing on a seesaw in a playground in an urban landscape. Caption reads: Playground
untitled
View of a family of all ages working together to cultivate land in the South.
untitled
Tougaloo College female maids, one white, one African American mopping the floor and fixing a floral arrangement. Verso reads: [Tougaloo] n.d.
untitled
Two African American servicemen, one with a garrison cap on are standing in a room. Caption reads: In service
untitled
Profile view of a young African American serviceman seated at a desk taking notes. Captions reads: In service
untitled
A street view of a beige suburban home, 1945.
untitled
Bench view scene of children playing on a swing set in a park. Caption reads: Playground
untitled
A group gathered on a street in between some homes. Caption reads: Poor housing

Pages