When unknown photographer Frank Larson passed away over fifty years ago, his wife Eleanora boxed up all of their possessions and moved out of their retirement home in Lakeville, Connecticut. Carole Larson – the widow of Frank’s youngest son David – and her son Soren were sorting though old boxes in their attic and found these negatives. Soren said:
“I had seen a few examples of my grandfather’s photography over the years and always admired them – our old family photo albums have a few small prints of his work in them. My father also used to speak with admiration about his father’s love of photography and his weekend trips with his Rolleiflex into the city to film places like the Bowery, Chinatown and Times Square.
But when I opened the box and began to explore what was inside I was truly shocked at the quality and range of the images, as well as the effort, dedication and love he brought to the task. When Frank died in 1964, I was only three years old, and too young to remember this gentle, careful man.”
Inside the box were 100+ envelopes filled with 2 1/4 negatives. They were all marked by date and location, carefully sealed and left exactly as he packed them 50 years ago. Soren added:
“As I began unsealing each packet and holding the negatives up to the light, it was like a trip back in time, back to the New York of the early ’50s.”
Vivian Maier was a nanny and discovered in the same way. (She is the subject a fab documentary, Finding Vivian Maier) Larson’s images are good, I would’t say great, like Maier’s, but they are a time-traveling treasure trove glimpse of a long-gone New York City. You can see more of Larson’s work and order very reasonably priced prints here. (Not sure of the edition size...?) They range from $140 for 11 x 14″, to $250 for 30 x 40″. That Star Is Born marquee or the ticket taker would look pretty great HUGE, huh?