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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Closeup view of a father and son working in the field together in the South.
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An all-female class is gathered for instruction and are seated at their desks with open books and notes.
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Scene of a trash-strewn, brick-paved street in a city. A man stands in the doorway of one of the buildings. Verso reads: slums
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Street view of New York Hospital (N.Y.), now known as the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center (E. 68th Street). Caption reads: Hospital
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School children disembarking from a school bus with books in hand near the Cotton Valley School in Fort Davis, Alabama. Verso reads: Cotton Valley School Bus
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Outside of an adult Bible class at the Cotton Valley School in Fort Davis, Alabama. The Principal Ms. Julia Johnson, is standing on the front steps. Verso reads: CA. 1947, ADULT BIBLE CLASS WITH MISS JULIA JOHNSON, PRINCIPAL
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An African American man sits in the cab of a Dodge truck, while three African American men and one woman sit on the truck's bed near the Marion Presbyterian Church in Marion, Alabama.
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Harlem (N.Y.) residential apartment building with a car parked out front. Caption reads: Harlem slum
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The rear view of the employment office waiting room where some people are standing and/or sitting. Caption reads: Employment
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White and African American men sit and wait in an employment office waiting room. Caption reads: Employment
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Marquee sign outside of a theatre in Memphis, Tennesee that reads: Colored Entrance. Verso reads: Le Moyne
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Along a brick-paved street, a young African American child and two older women stand outside an unidentified apartment building with fire escapes. Verso reads: slums
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Young women seated in the grass near a fence at recess at the Cotton Valley School in Fort Davis, Alabama. Verso reads: Cotton Valley Recess
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Streetview of a Harlem (N.Y.) storefront with residents outside. Caption reads: Harlem slum
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Three young women, all undergraduates at Dillard University sit on the lawn or look-on while pointing to a magazine. Verso reads: Dillard Under-graduate girls at Dillard
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Two African American steel workers pouring a bucket emanating high flames in a foundry or steel mill located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania located in Allegheny County. Verso reads: Steel workers
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A group of four white male laborers stand around in work clothes.
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Students disembarking from one of the Perry County school buses. Caption reads: 13 NEW MODERN BUSES BRING STUDENTS TO LINCOLN SCHOOL
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A team of young African American men in football uniforms on a fenced-in field.
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Apartment buildings in Harlem (N.Y.) with residents out front. Caption reads: Harlem slum

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