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Today in Rip Payne

13 Jul

by Emma Earnst

 

Today in 1964, Rip Payne documented Bradley Peyton Motors, a locally owned Pontiac-Cadillac dealership.  Peyton Motors was located on West Main Street, on the lot where the Red Roof Inn now sits.  The dealership opened in 1947, and existed for nearly twenty years until in 1967 the hotel (at this time, a Howard Johnson,) replaced it.  Prior to being the car dealership, the land had been host to a number of businesses, including a gas station, dry cleaners, and miniature golf course.  For more fun facts about the development of the Corner blocks, check out this great spread by Coy Barefoot in the University of Virginia Magazine archives.

 

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Today in Rip Payne

10 Jul

by Emma Earnst

 

Today’s Rip Payne comes from an unknown date in July 1967, and depicts Old Fashion Day at what was a relatively new Barracks Road Shopping Center.

Bunny trail time: Something tells me our friend Rip wasn’t a fan of the July heat.  To date, the distribution of pictures per month falls heavily on spring (March to May) and fall (September to November).  Admittedly, the cool breezes and beautiful colors of those seasons seem far more attractive than the scorched earth and overheated public of summer—especially to someone whose life work is to capture beauty.  Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that summer is doing far better than winter.  In terms of number of Rip Payne photographs.  Because, as you know, that’s what really matters.

Anyways, one of the (few) reasons Rip ventured out in the heat in July 1967 (so far I only have one other photo series from this month and year) was to shoot a group of individuals who dressed up in old-fashioned garb and shopped.  Well, rather, they dressed up so that others would shop.  That’s right—for at least two years in a row, a group of Barracks Road employees put on the longest dresses and warmest wool suits they find and paraded around in the dreaded heat, all in the name of sales.  Needless to say, this event didn’t last through to the present.  Hmm, I wonder why?

P.S. Can you guess which character is my favorite?

 

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Answer: Duh, its the woman with awesome specs smoking a pipe.

Today in Rip Payne

9 Jul

by Emma Earnst

 

Today in 1955, Rip Payne spent his day as he so often did, photographing a wedding.  To be precise, this was the Duval wedding, which took place at the University Chapel.

Having spent more time in another local Gothic-style church, I find myself constantly wanting to proclaim that Rip was wrong in his identifications of the Chapel vs. Christ Episcopal Church (these are probably the two most popular wedding venues during this time, at least judging from these RP photos), and (almost!) always being wrong.  Consider the following images of the interiors of these two churches:

University Chapel

Christ Episcopal Church

Looking at Rip’s black and white negatives, I admit, at first glance I often mistake one for the other.  Luckily, the stained glass behind the altars differs greatly and provides a good identifier.

Anyhow, Rip Payne spent his day in University Chapel  (note the stained glass) on this day in 1955, celebrating yet another happy Charlottesville nuptial:

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Today in Rip Payne

30 May

by Emma Earnst

 

On this day in 1970, Rip Payne spent the day at Christ Episcopal Church, photographing the Rumble wedding (as he named it).  As I’m going to be married there in just two and half weeks myself, you know I couldn’t resist!

I’ll let you enjoy after a few quick observations:

  1. Seafoam green is back.  That only took like 42 years… sheesh.
  2. I am not sure I’ll ever get used to bridesmaids wearing veils.
  3. Is this not one of the most unhappy-looking brides you have ever seen?  I don’t want to judge, because I myself have a face that never cooperates in pictures.  But, here I am, judging nonetheless.  Time to go practice in the mirror, me!
  4. Awesome choice of costume change, and even better car decorating.

Enjoy!

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Spotlight Event: Time Capsule Opening

24 May

by Emma Earnst

This coming Sunday, May 27th, 2012, Charlottesville’s 1962 time capsule, buried during the 200th Anniversary celebrations that year, will be unearthed and opened for public consumption.  Items will be shared with attendees, and then transferred to yours truly (ACHS), for display in our exhibit space.

Below, you will find a video of the burial in 1962.  As you may recall, the exact location of the capsule could not be determined until Tom Hartsell shared this footage, found among his father’s 8mm videos, in August 2011.

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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Today in Rip Payne

3 May

by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1965, Rip Payne documented the dedication of the new General Electric building.  In a uniquely GE way, rather than cut a ribbon or crack open a bottle of champagne, the big wigs lined up and turned on some lights!  WINA offered some sponsorship (microphones), and the tuxedo-clad fellows then dined banquet style. Since the 1980s, GE’s Intelligent Platforms (their computer technology segment) has been headquartered out of Charlottesville (they are located wayyy up 29 North), but not the same building that these men dedicated back in ’65.

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Then, having now fully entered wedding season, Rip Payne spent this day in 1986 photographing Robin Hanger’s big day. And lets just say, there’s no doubting we’re in the 80’s here, kids.  We’re talking big hair, a bigger veil, puffy sleeves, and the tannest skin you’ve ever seen. It is fantastic. I know you will enjoy these!

By the way, Robin’s wedding, like my own upcoming nuptials will, took place in Christ Episcopal Church. But they let her put down a white runner. Hmmm…

44 days!