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Telling Moments

A Changing World: New England in the Photographs of Verner Reed, 1950-1972

Telling Moments

For years, Life magazine editors placed a particularly witty photograph on a page entitled "Parting Shots." Often bittersweet, the classic parting shot image works on multiple levels and underscores photography's ability to speak beyond words. Though the images here were not published as such, they embody the Life editors' concept. We find the couple on their wedding day looking more worried than excited; the baby in the carriage below a sign reading, "Fancy Plump Northern Turkeys: Ready for the Oven"; the awe of the young man in the park studying a marble sculpture; and the worried glee of the young girl as she pulls taffy.

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Turkeys, Boston, 1952

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DAR, Newbury, Vermont, 1953

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New Shoes, Newbury, Vermont, 1953

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Puddle Jumper, Boston, 1953

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Boston Arts Festival, 1954

The Boston Arts Festival was both a celebration of local artists and a protest. There was a growing feeling among artists living and working in the Boston area that they were being overlooked by the area museums, which were more concerned with international trends than with the diverse and vibrant community in their own backyard. Reed supported this festival and had friends involved with its organization.

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Easter Parade, Boston, 1954

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After the Flood, Ansonia, Connecticut, 1955

While covering a flood in rural Connecticut, Reed entered this house, where he found a woman resting from the exertion of cleaning up. Her posture and facial expressions carry the weight of the story.

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Taffy Pull, Peabody, Massachusetts, 1955

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Brunswick Hotel, Boston, 1957

Long a Boston landmark, the Brunswick Hotel was torn down to make room for a modern office building. The people gathered here had decided to enjoy one last afternoon in the hotel's tea room.

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Teenie Weenie, Boston, 1957

This photograph was taken on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of The Atlantic Monthly magazine.

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Country Wedding, South Woodbury, Vermont, 1957

Like many of Reed's photographs, this one derived from a commission but interested him for the revealing light it cast on the newlyweds--who probably would not have selected it for their wedding album.

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Outdoor Concert, Bolton, Vermont, 1972

 

A Changing World: New England in the Photographs of Verner Reed, 1950-1972 

Organized by Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts 

All photographs are drawn from the collections of Historic New England, presented by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. They are part of the Verner Reed Archive, a collection of more than 26,000 negatives and prints, which was donated by Verner and Deborah Reed. 

John R. Stomberg served as guest curator of the original exhibition.


 

Telling Moments