"I grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and when my dad offered my younger sister, Jan, and me the chance to go with him and our mother to Afghanistan, I was excited about the opportunity. I would spend my senior year in high school in some exotic country, not in ordinary Tempe… Of course, there were loads of cultural differences between Arizona and Afghanistan, but I had very interesting and entertaining experiences. People always seemed friendly and helpful. I never got into any real difficulties or scrapes, even though I was a fairly clueless teenager! Times were more gentle back then." – Peg Podlich (Pictured at right).
Kabul Gorge or locally known as Tang-i-Gharoo which led to the Darae Maiee-Par (Flying Fish Valley). This is the highway which connects Kabul with the province city of Jalalabad.
Bandit’s Roost (1888), by Jacob Riis, from “How the Other Half Lives.” Bandit’s Roost, at 59½ Mulberry Street (Mulberry Bend), was the most crime-ridden, dangerous part of all New York City.
Mulberry Bend (ca. 1888), photo by Jacob Riis. “Five Points (and Mulberry Street), at one time was a neighborhood for the middle class. But when they had water problems because of an underground spring, the area was abandoned to the poor. It was the first American slum. In 1880 there were 37,000 tenements housing nearly 1.1 million people. Most were one or two room apartments. There was no running water and the bedrooms often had no windows at all. The buildings were so close together people could hand things across the alley, window to window. Mulberry Bend was one of the worst stretch of slums and in 1896 it was demolished to be turned into Columbus Park. Chinatown and Little Italy encroached, as did federal buildings to the south.” via
Sphinx & Pyramids of Chefren and Mankaura, Giza
The New York Public Library has shared an incredible gallery of over 9,000 photographs and illustrations of the Middle East from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century. These include, books, albums and archival compilations.
Monuments of ancient Egypt and the Biblical world figured prominently in the early years of photography. French Academician François Arago (1786-1853) endorsed the new medium in 1839 claiming it would provide a labor-saving means “to copy the millions and millions of hieroglyphics which entirely cover the great monuments at Thebes, Memphis and Carnac, etc.” Immediately artist-travelers took chemicals, cameras, and photographic plates of metal, and later glass into the regions around the southeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, to record the famous sights that had been known previously to Westerners only through the intervention of the artist’s hand.
In addition to early photographic pioneers Du Camp, Salzmann, Robertson & Beato, and Frith, the collection includes work by image providers catering to tourist travelers in the last third of the 19th century, such as Arnoux, A. Beato, Bonfils, Lekegian, Sébah, and Zangaki. The selection offers resources for exploring Western impressions of the Middle East in that era through the lens of practitioners of the new medium of photography, and in turn through the expectations, preferences, and assumptions of its consumers.
Below is a curated selection of 30 photographs of Egypt from 1870-1875. Enjoy!
2. Cairo: Tombs of the Mamelukes to the citadel
In 1959 Bruce Davidson read about the teenage gangs of New York City. Connecting with a social worker to make initial contact with a gang called the Jokers, Davidson became a daily observer and photographer of this alienated youth culture