Yesterday in Rip Payne

18 May

by Emma Earnst

 

On the day before today in 1968, Rip Payne photographed the lines outside the Paramount Theater in anticipation of The Fox.  As you may recall, we’ve witnessed Rip documenting similar situations before.  I particularly fancy these kinds of images because they stand out from Rip’s typical portraiture work.  They are a portrait of collective society—not just Charlottesville— but of America in the mid-twentieth century.

The Fox, on the other hand, may not be the most obvious representation of typical mid-century American culture (check it out for yourself).

In light of all the brouhaha over Obama’s (and Biden’s) recent declarations on the rights of gay and lesbian Americans, I do find it somewhat amusing that I would come across the one of only about a hundred films with a similar theme from the time period (out of what IMDB estimates being about 4,000 from then till the present).  I have no desire to start a political discussion on the matter, but being a historian, I will point you to a fine treatment of some of the surrounding controversy by Jim Loewen (best-selling author of the Lies My Teacher Told Me series).

Now for the light-hearted stuff:

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