Each week, we bring you the backstory of work featured in our collection, written by a member of our curatorial team.
by Poppy Simpson, Head of Curation
In 1941, the 27-year-old photographer Jack Delano took a series of full color pictures of the Vermont State Fair, where attractions included Teddy, the wrestling bear as well as the main side show of ‘Human Freaks’, which promised performances from ‘The Pain Proof Man’ and the ‘The Alligator Skin Boy’.
At that point, the fair was 100 years old—one of the oldest running in the United States—and Delano was there to record it as part of his work for the photography unit of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which was set up to document and share images of post-Depression American society.
This month, we are offering a collection of Delano’s rich, colorful, and evocative images from the fair as part of our recently-launched partnership with Retronaut, which offers ‘time-travel without the time-machine’. Retronaut “scours the world's archives and museums, physical and digital, looking for material that just doesn't fit…[and hunts down] pictures, film, sound, stories and songs that are not on our maps. Things that appear to be anachronistic - but are not.”
We are thrilled to announce that every two weeks, Meural will bring you an exclusive Retronaut Capsule—a carefully curated collection of historical images that will surprise, amuse, challenge, and provoke. And, in the presenting this inventive perspective on the twentieth century, Meural, along with Retronaut looks forward to changing the way you think about the past.
And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, take a sneak peak of the breathtaking collection of photographs of Chicago’s Union Station, which will be available to enjoy on your Meural Canvas in October!
Retronaut is just one of a series of partners that Meural is currently working with. Users can also enjoy unique and monthly updated collections from the New York Public Library, Sedition, Creative Action Network, and more.