Arthur E. Scott finding aid now available

Some of photojournalist/photohistorian Arthur E. Scott’s most fascinating subjects are United States Senators and Presidents, including Barry Goldwater, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon.  Scott also documented the Washington, D.C. area’s most important landmarks, like the U.S. Capitol Building and Arlington National Cemetery.  Check out the complete finding aid for the Arthur E. Scott photograph collection to learn more about this collection of over 5,000 prints and negatives, ranging from 1910 to 1976.

Astronaut Alan Shepard speaks after becoming the first American in space. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson looks on (1961). Arthur E. Scott photograph collection, C0096, Box 6, Folder 17

To see more images from the collection, a sample of almost 200 digitized images is available through this website.

This collection was reprocessed with funds provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

How to Pour Tea

Agnes McCall Parker was the founder and director of the Parker School of Etiquette, Personality, and Speech in Washington, D.C. In this photograph from August 1953, Ms. Parker shows a group of her students the proper way to pour tea from a correctly set tea table. This photograph is from the Oliver Atkins Photograph collection, one of two collections currently being processed with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. This photograph demonstrates Ollie Atkins’ distinct talent. For example, he captured everyone in the crowd by using the reflection in the mirror. The photograph is also an excellent example of early 1950s culture. The grant provides funds so that staff can discover these unique images and make them known to researchers.

Agnes McCall Parker

Oliver F. Atkins Photograph Collection, Box 13, Folder 22

Meet the Jack Rottier Photograph Collection

Photographer Jack Rottier

Last spring, Robin Rottier, a Mason psychology student and Preservation Assistant working in the library, donated a collection of thousands of slides, negatives, and prints taken by her father Jack Rottier. Jack Rottier worked as a photographer for the National Capital Region of the National Park Service from the early 1960s until he retired in 1975.

The collection consists of images from in and around Washington, DC with a decidedly naturalistic approach characteristic of Rottier, an avid outdoors-man. The focus of his work may seem to be the impressive architecture and what it stands for, but Rottier makes a point to give the natural surroundings  equal weight within the composition. His work serves as a reminder of just how beautiful our city is; both in terms of architecture and greenery. There are many shots of  monuments, parks, events on the Mall, and some stunning aerial shots of the metro area. He also photographed many important figures in Washington such as Richard and Pat Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson and some celebrities including Liz Taylor and Bob Hope.

Robin Rottier as a young girl, photo taken by her father Jack is not part of the collection

Rottier came to the Washington area around 1950 and worked as a photographer for the American Forest Products Industries. He later joined the Commerce Department where he photographed trade fairs overseas, and then the Bureau of Land Management in the Interior Department, where he worked until transferring to the Park Service.  Throughout his life Rottier was an active member of the C&O Canal Association. Over the course of his career with the Park Service he contributed to the photographic record of Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification program, the development of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. He passed away in 1988.

We feel very fortunate to have received this collection and it has already become quite popular. WETA will be using several of Rottier’s Washington Senator’s images for the upcoming documentary on Washington in the 1970s set to air on February 22 at 9pm. The Rottier collection is also a nice companion to our Ollie Atkins and Charles Baptie collections,  which heavily document the Washington area from the 1940s-1980s. Please take a look at the Jack Rottier Photograph Collection and look for new posts in the coming weeks to explore some of the particular events that Rottier captured.

Here are some  images from the collection:

Ladies enjoying Lafayette Park in the Spring

Lost between the moon and Capital City

Focusing on African Safaris: The Edith McChesney Ker Collection

Photography is traditionally a profession dominated by men, but one of SC&A’s photography collections is the life work of a fascinating woman, Edith McChesney Ker.  Originally from Virginia, Edith’s life took an unexpected turn while  on an African safari in 1958.  While in Kenya, she met and fell in love with her future husband, Donald Ker, owner of Ker & Downey Safaris.  Edith later moved to Kenya to be with Donald and became an avid photographer of wildlife and nature.  The East African Wildlife Society used more than 50 of her photographs for their Christmas cards and calendars.  Furthermore, some of her photographs have been used in educational books for children.

After Donald’s death in 1981, Edith traveled around the world, capturing her adventures through photography. Many of the photographs in the Edith Ker Collection document these adventures.   However, some of my favorite images come from early years in Africa.

Rhinoceros and bird in Amboseli, Kenya

Rhinoceros and bird in Amboseli, Kenya

Elephants in an unknown river

Elephants in an unknown river

Crocodile in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Crocodile in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Zebra

Zebra in unknown location

Although Edith photographed all different types of animals, I especially like the photographs featuring lions.

Lion cub in Tanzania

Lion cub in Tanzania

Lion pride in Talek, Kenya

Lion pride in Talek, Kenya

Lion pride in unknown location

Lion pride in unknown location