FOYIL, Okla. — In 1937, art teacher Ed Galloway began his retirement project: a 90-foot-tall totem pole rising from the back of a big blue turtle.
The United States was invaded by hundreds of giants in the 1960s and 70s. Over half a century later, those that remain are weathered and decayed, their kitsch out of fashion.
A combination of roadside attraction novelty and greater architectural freedom resulted in some very strange 20th-century buildings.
A strange visual language developed from the 18th to the 20th century behind the closed doors of American secret societies.
Almost every US town has one: that mysterious Masonic lodge with its borrowed Egyptian or Greek details, arcane symbols, and windows and doors that rarely open.
There’s a lot of nostalgia around old playgrounds, for the burns in summer on the overheated metal slides or the nauseating spinning play on the whirl. Those brushes or hits with danger are why most of them are gone, replaced with safer, less rusty, contraptions.
A lot of 179 of these tintype photographs dating from the 1860s to 1890s is part of the upcoming Fine Photographs & Photobooks sale at Swann Auction Galleries, and are something of a core sample of the shifting social changes in the country, and how those 19th century people were choosing to remember themselves and portray others in the post-Civil War era.