My father, Irving Kaufman (1910 – 1982), was a professional photographer who started in Brooklyn in the mid 1930s working for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He captured thousands of images of Brooklyn through the 1950s. I have recently digitized a great many of them.
I am delighted to work with the Eagle on an ongoing project to display some of those photos. Our goal is to highlight Brooklyn as it used to be, for your pleasure and edification, as well as to pay tribute to my father’s remarkable photography. His profile can be found here.
This week’s photos are of “People, one at a time.” Evocative, provocative, attractive, odd, sad, intense. It’s extraordinary how revealing and distinct each individual’s story can be when captured in an interesting context and with the skill of a gifted photographer. Collectively, there’s a lot to be felt and learned in the process.
Today’s two pictures both show a man in the midst of a tricky task. Each requires strength, balance, willingness to take a risk, and skill with rope. Each involves some time off the ground. Still, the tasks are quite different — except for the common challenge we all face to develop a repertoire of skills to succeed at what we want or need to do.
Parachute, c. 1942
Floyd Bennett Field in South Brooklyn was New York City’s first municipally owned airport. The Navy purchased the field from the city in June 1941. The Naval Air Reserve used it for training, patrol missions and preparation for deployment through the 1940s. This image catches an airman controlling his parachute on the ground after a training jump.
Work-life balance, 1934
This anonymous but agile gent is rehearsing for his act in a circus. His fellow performers look on to jeer or cheer — or to offer advice. Traveling circuses were popular with local people who didn’t have much opportunity to see live entertainment, especially of the daredevil type.
I invite you to submit comments, memories, images of Brooklyn, and especially any additional background information you can supply about the photos posted here. I’d be glad to supply information about buying prints of any of the images seen here. Many of my father’s images are also available for viewing and purchase at http://yourartgallery.com/irvingkaufmanstudios. All prints purchased will be the product of professional scanning and editing.
The Eagle’s most recent Kaufman’s Brooklyn post was, “Kaufman’s Brooklyn: A sight to behold.”