Art & Industry Exhibition Photograph Collections


Russell Aikins. Design in Black and White, ca. 1934. olvwork497510

The 1934 Art and Industry Exhibition Photograph Collection brings together some of the finest examples of 1930s documentary, public relations, and advertising photography from prominent photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White, Russell Aikins, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Victor Keppler, Gordon Coster, Anton Bruehl, Nicholas Muray and others. This stunning group of black and white gelatin silver prints and color images was originally displayed in a 1934 exhibit sponsored by the National Alliance of Art and Industry (NAAI) and The Photographic Illustrators, Inc. The exhibit opened in New York City's Rockefeller Center and later traveled to Chicago's Lakeside Press Galleries. At a time when photography had become the medium of choice for most print advertising, artists were pursuing commercial photography as both an artistic endeavor and a profession and advertisers were looking for images that would project confidence in the production and sale of consumer goods during the Great Depression. In 1935, a selection of photographs from the NAAI exhibition came to Harvard Business School, enhancing photographic collections already available for exhibition, research, and classroom use.

Digital images from the Art and Industry Photography Collection can be viewed through Harvard University's HOLLIS Images system.