Photographer Oliver Atkins Saw the Rise and Fall of Two 20th Century Cultural Icons

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Oliver Atkins at the Great Wall of China during Nixon's trip of February 1972. From the Oliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection.

Oliver Atkins (1917-1977) photographed some of the world’s most recognizable individuals and created some of the world’s most recognizable images.  A photographer for The Saturday Evening Post from 1946-1968, Atkins captured both the national/ international political scene and human interest stories from mid-century America.

In a recent article, The Saturday Evening Post explores Atkins’ somewhat ironic historical connection with Richard Nixon and Alger Hiss. The article can be found at: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2009/12/12/archives/retrospective/photographer-spy.html.

The Ollie Atkins Photograph Collection contains photographs, negatives, and contact sheets dating from 1943 to 1974. The images, numbering nearly 57,000, are representative of his work with The Saturday Evening Post and the United States government as official photographer to President Nixon. A small sampling from the Oliver Atkins Collection can be viewed at: http://sca.gmu.edu/exhibit/atkins_1.htm.

For more information about the Oliver Atkins Collection or other collections in Special Collections and Archives, please visit sca.gmu.edu.

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Holiday Recipes from Former Times

With the holiday season in full swing, we’ve been inspired here in the library by some of the recipes found in our Rosemary Poole Cookbook Collection. The collection includes over 200 cookbooks from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries covering a range of regions and cuisines with books on proper etiquette, table settings, and dress as well.

Browsing through the books you can get a real sense of how much cooking and recipes have changed over the years. There is a level of knowledge that was assumed in these older volumes and often the only direction offered is “cook” or “bake.” Also, most (if not all) of the books are geared towards women even when written by men and the introductions often begin with “Dear Madam” or “To the Modern Housewife.”

As part of our annual library Holiday Party we are holding a contest to see who can make the best baked good using one of these recipes.We also invite our readers to attempt this feat and let us know about the experience. Here are some of the recipes we found particularly appealing (and not too difficult) and if you are near campus, please stop by SC&A to browse selections from the many volumes.

From Mary Hunt's Pastry and Sweets Diary (1939)

From Mary Hunt's Pastry and Sweets Diary (1939)

From "Someone's in the Kitchen," a collection of recipes from The Matrons of Meetinghouse Hill, South Portland, ME (1947)

From "Someone's in the Kitchen," a collection of recipes from The Matrons of Meetinghouse Hill, South Portland, ME (1947)

From a pamphlet produced by the Baker Extract Company (year unknown, 19?)

From a pamphlet produced by the Baker Extract Company (year unknown, 19?)

From The Little Epicure, by Linda Hull Larned (1894).

From The Little Epicure, by Linda Hull Larned (1894).