Breaking

Genevieve Naylor’s vintage photographs document the everyday life of a bygone Brazil, 1940-1943


Genevieve Naylor, a photojournalist previously employed by the Associated Press and the WPA, was sent to Brazil in 1940 by Rockefeller's agency to provide photographs that reflected the need for wartime support for propaganda from Brazil and surrounding countries. will support.

This was the time when World War II was beginning to escalate and the State Department's Office of Inter-American Affairs was tasked with cultivating South American support for the Allies.

Naylor produced an astonishing collection of over a thousand photographs that document a rarely seen period in Brazilian history. Naylor's collection of photographs offers a unique view of everyday life during one of the least examined decades of modern Brazil.

His subjects include the very rich and the very poor, black carnival dancers, fishermen, interior rural farmers, workers trapped in trolleys, just ordinary Brazilians in their setting.

Because it was a time of war, the film was rationed, and Naylor's equipment was modest. He had neither the flash nor the studio lights and had to choose his shots carefully, balancing spontaneity with careful composition.

Of her work, about 1,350 photographs have survived and been preserved. After returning to the States in 1943, Naylor became only the second female photographer to be given a one-woman show when her work was exhibited by New York's Museum of Modern Art.


Genevieve Naylor was born on February 2, 1915, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father, Emmett Hay Naylor, a trade association lawyer, and his mother, Ruth Houston Caldwell, were married on January 17, 1914.

Genevieve was given Hay's middle name in reference to the family member John Hay, Abraham Lincoln's personal secretary.

His parents divorced in 1925, when Genevieve was 10 years old. She attended Miss Hall School and later, at the age of 16, Music Box, an art school, where she studied painting. It was at the music box that Genevieve met his teacher, Misha Reznikoff.

Two years later, in 1933, they were in love, and when Misha moved to New York, Genevieve soon followed, and they settled into the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village, living in a studio apartment – ​​filled with colorful paintings and cigarettes. Along with a huge converted stationary box and often home to parties with musicians, artists and fans that lasted several days.

In 1934, Naylor attended an exhibition by photographer Berenice Abbott and admired Abbott's work so much that he switched from painting to photography. Naylor became Abbott's apprentice in 1935, and they maintained their professional relationship until Naylor's death.



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