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.

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A group of African American servicemen including those in Navy uniforms gather in a circle to converse. Photo taken during World War II. Caption reads: In service
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Portrait of an African American man at a place-setting for dinner. Caption reads: White minister + Negro
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Dinnertime conversation between two men, one a white minister, the other an African American man. Caption reads: White minister + Negro
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View of the ground outside with patches of grass. Caption reads: Poor housing
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Side profile of an older African American man dressed in a sweater waiting to hitch a ride. Caption reads: Ride
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Suited members of a board, one white woman and four males (two white, two African American), conducting business in an executive conference room.
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Front entrance of a home in the suburbs with trees and shrubs in front of it, 1945.
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Conversation at dinner between two men, one a white minister, the other an unidentified African American man. Caption reads: White minister + Negro
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A picket line consisting of whites and African Americans from the UE Local 601 (United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America), stand outside of a large brick building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania located in Allegheney County.
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Sign posted in the grass outside of the Veteran's Guidance Center. Verso reads: Dillard
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Dilapidated wooden steps outside of a brick building. The mailbox reads, "Wm. H. Jones 812." Caption reads: Poor housing
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Presdident A. D. Beittel of Talladega College pictured with his wife and son all reading. Caption reads: THE BEITTEL FAMILY
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Outside view of a church school with people gathered out front. Caption reads: Church school
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Unidentified brick building in the Southeastern portion of the United States.
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A scene of buildings in Harlem (N.Y.). Caption reads: Harlem skyline
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A man in a business suit consults with a veteran of the Armed Forces dressed in uniform. Verso reads: Dillard
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Two picketers from the UE Local 601 (United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America), stand outside of a large brick building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania located in Allegheney County.
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A white blue collar worker and businessman pictured in the foreground, as well as, other on-lookers gathered in the center of town for the weekly auction. Photograph from scrapbook entitled, "Picture Story of Trinity School."
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Office scene taken from a further distance of two male professionals both African American at a desk conversing. In the center and older African American woman is also seated.
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Eight young women and one young man walk from class on the campus of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Verso reads: Dillard

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