Tag Archives: Illinois

On a Treasure Hunt at the Chicago History Museum

Working in an archive is like looking for vintage treasures in an overstuffed warehouse.  You might have some idea of what you want to find, but you need to keep an open mind.  Since my daughter lives in Chicago, I … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

More on Madge, ca. 1951

On a recent visit to my aunt’s house, I started exploring her huge stash of family photos. Why had I never thought to do this while my uncle was still alive to share his stories? But better late than never. … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Trying on Hats in Bronzeville, 1941

This evocative photo, captioned “Buying hats in a ten cent store which caters to Negroes,” is included in the volume Bronzeville: Black Chicago in Pictures, 1941-43 (2003). The book matches photos taken by photographers working for the federal government with … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

My Grandmother Madge

My maternal grandmother Madge had couture level sewing skills.  When I asked where she got them, my aunt told me she took classes in downtown Chicago.  She never rested on her laurels. I am thinking of her a lot, since … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, General | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Finding Vivian Maier

The enigmatic photographer Vivian Maier (1926-2009), whose work was discovered after she died, is the subject of this documentary by John Maloof. He is one of the two men who are working to bring her vast legacy to the public. … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, General | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Hats of Different Nations, 1946

Featured in the Chicago Sun Times in November 1946, this photo shows an election polling site at a hat shop on Rush St. in downtown Chicago. The owner, Mrs. Annette Conkey, took advantage of the occasion to show off her … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Four at the Shore, 1920s

While it is easy to think of the 1920s as a fairly unified fashion period, with its waistless  dresses, cloche hats, and short hair styles, skirt lengths varied a lot during the decade.  They started out fairly long, then became … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chicago in White, 1920s

Recently I’ve been reading about the history of photography, a topic I should have tackled a long time ago. I’m particularly interested in amateur snapshots, since they are my main source base to find out what older women actual wore … Continue reading

Posted in 1920s | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair

Ever since my daughter moved to Chicago almost two years ago, I have become a regular at the Chicago History Museum.  Each time I visit, the museum has an exhibit that catches my eye.  This last trip in March was … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990, 2000s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

On Chicago Streets, 1960s

Here are a few more photos from “Vivian Maier’s Chicago” rendered through my husband’s camera. Maier was born in 1926, so she was around forty when she took these photos of older women on Chicago streets. Perhaps her own status … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment