(VERNACULAR SALOONS & SUDS)
Collection of 245 photographs of saloons, hotels, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and cafés taken in coal minng towns throughout Pennsylvania, each an artful composition attributed to E.H. Kemper.
The accomplished photographs document the region's distinctive vernacular architecture and commercial signage advertising local beers, and include images of local folk (including recreational drinkers enjoying a beer). The towns' street scenes notably lack automobiles. Silver prints, the images measuring 7 3/4x9 3/4 inches (19.7x24.6 cm.), linen backed, nearly all with numeric notations and a few with captions, in pencil, on mount verso. Circa 1915
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500
A remarkable set of images that overlays Lewis Hine's humanist eye with Walker Evans' notion of documentary-style. Although the reason for this survey is unclear, the photographs were produced during the pre-1920 Prohibition era and include signage associated with regional breweries. Kemper, a photographer who worked for the Scranton Republican News, managed to artfully pose laborers enjoying a beer, dashing figures in boater hats, and well-dressed childen in front of commercial establishments that were clearly go-to destinations in their respective towns.