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Guide to the Will Grossman photographs, 1969-1979 and undated

Abstract

Will Grossman was a 20th century documentary photographer based in Durham, N.C.

Collection of 80 black and white gelatin silver prints and 16 duplicate black and white inkjet prints that document Durham County, North Carolina, and the city of Durham in the 1970s. There are also 488 negative images present. The 16 duplicates were exhibited at Through This Lens Gallery, Durham, N.C., in 2006. Grossman's subjects document the landscapes and life of the U.S. South and North Carolina in particular, and include barns and rural landscapes; houses and churches; tobacco warehouses, a cigarette factory, and other industrial buildings; tobacco workers and other portraits of individuals, including many African Americans; scenes along the Eno River; and the Durham County Fair. A few images are from Orange County, N.C. Included in the collection is one of Grossman's most important photographs, Sunbeam, which features three men sitting in a shaft of sunlight near a warehouse door. Prints are arranged in order by image numbers supplied by the archivist. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Grossman, Will.
Title
Will Grossman photographs, 1969-1979 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
6.0 Linear Feet, 584 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection of 80 black and white gelatin silver prints and 16 duplicate black and white inkjet exhibit prints that document Durham County, North Carolina, and the city of Durham in the 1970s. There are also 488 negative images present. The 16 duplicates were exhibited at Through This Lens Gallery, Durham, N.C., in 2006. Grossman's subjects document the landscapes and life of the U.S. South and North Carolina in particular, and include barns and rural landscapes; houses and churches; tobacco warehouses, a cigarette factory, and other industrial buildings; tobacco workers and other portraits of individuals, including many African Americans; scenes along the Eno River; and the Durham County Fair. A few images are from Orange County, N.C. Included in the collection is one of Grossman's most important photographs, "Sunbeam," which features three men sitting in a shaft of sunlight near a warehouse door.

The 80 gelatin silver prints range in size from 4x6" to 10.75x13.75" and are arranged in the following topical series: Buildings; Durham, N.C.; Durham County Fair; Eno River; Landscapes and the Natural World; and Portraits. These series titles were supplied by library staff with a few exceptions. There is also an exhibit prints series housing 16 digital inkjet prints that range from 8x8" to 16x24.75". The size of the matting ranges from 11x14" to 24x32".

Some prints bear original captions; captions supplied by library staff are in brackets. Print numbers were supplied by library staff. Among the negatives in the collection are images that represent the photographic prints in the collection, but there are also many negatives for which prints do not exist, including images of locations in Durham city and county.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Images may only be used for non-commercial, educational purposes; they may not be reproduced except by permission of donor.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Series contains 80 black-and-white gelatin silver prints focusing chiefly on Durham and Durham County landscapes, agricultural and industrial buildings, and individuals. Prints are matted, except where noted in the listings. The size of each print is given in inches, with dimensions ranging from 4x6" to 10.75x13.75". Mats measure as follows: Box 1, 11x14"; Box 2, 11x14" (with one 8x10" and one 7x11"); Box 3, 11x14"; Box 4, 14x19" (with two 14x14"); Box 5, 16x20" (with two 11x14"). Captions supplied by library staff are in brackets; image numbers were supplied by library staff. The photographs are arranged in the following topical series: Buildings; Durham, N.C.; Durham County Fair; Eno River; Landscapes and the Natural World; and Portraits. These series titles were supplied by library staff with a few exceptions.

Arranged in numerical order following print identifiers supplied by library staff.

House, Orange County (?), 1973
(5.5x8.25")
Box 1 Image [1]
[White house on hill], undated
(6.5x7.25")
Box 1 Image [2]
[White barn with indented roof], undated

Print unmounted.

(9x13.25")
Box 1 Image [3]
[Cart on farm, detail], undated
(5.5x7.75")
Box 1 Image [4]
[Barn with cart], undated
(5.5x8")
Box 1 Image [5]
Barn, N. Duke St., Durham County, 1973
(5.75x8.25")
Box 1 Image [6]
Barn, Durham County, undated
(5.5x8")
Box 1 Image [7]
Tobacco barn, Durham County, undated
(7.75x11")
Box 4 Image [8]
[Old store building with portico], undated
(5.5x7.25")
Box 1 Image [9]
[White church near Route 501 and Bahama, N.C.], 1973
(5.25x8")
Box 1 Image [10]
[Dilapidated house], undated
(4.5x6.5")
Box 1 Image [11]
[Dilapidated house, door frame], undated
(4.5x6.5")
Box 1 Image [12]
[Dilapidated house detail of siding], undated
(6x9")
Box 1 Image [13]
[Wood-plank siding], undated
(5.25x7.25")
Box 1 Image [14]
[Wood-plank siding], undated
(5.25x7.25")
Box 1 Image [15]
[White-washed door with lock], undated
(5.5x8.25")
Box 1 Image [16]
[Door frame in shadow and light], undated

Print unmounted.

(5.5x7.5")
Box 1 Image [17]
[Door frame in shadow and light], undated
(7.75x11")
Box 1 Image [18]
[Window grate], undated
(5.5x8")
Box 1 Image [19]
[Open window with grate], undated
(5.25x7.5")
Box 1 Image [20]
Cigarette factory [Durham, N.C.], 1971
(5.5x7.25")
Box 2 Image [21]
[Brick cigarette factory fa├žade, Durham, N.C.], undated
(5.5x7.25")
Box 2 Image [22]
Geer St. looking west, 1974 Nov. [Durham, N.C.]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [23]
Hot dog stand, Geer and Foster St., 1974 Nov. [Durham, N.C.]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [24]
Hot dog stand, Sunday, 1974 Nov.
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [25]
L&M Office Building, 1971 [Liggett & Myers cigarettes, Durham, N.C.]
(5.25x7.25")
Box 2 Image [26]
Hammond Street [Durham, N.C.], 1972
(5.5x7.25")
Box 2 Image [27]
Hutchins Automotives Supply Co. Inc. [Durham, N.C.], 1974 Nov.
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [28]
[Snow on bicycle], 1974
(5.25x7.25")
Box 2 Image [29]
Liberty Warehouse, 1974 [door with tobacco seed advertisements, Durham, N.C.]
(7.5x7.5")
Box 4 Image [30]
Liberty Warehouse, 1974 [close-up of window with seed company advertisement]
(7.5x7.5")
Box 4 Image [31]
Sunbeam [Durham, N.C.], 1974 [Three African American men sitting in open door of warehouse]
(10.75x13.75")
Box 5 Image [32]
Durham County Fair, 1974 [white man and woman in front of food vendor]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [33]
[State Fair carney with large stuffed toys], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [34]
[State Fair carney with large stuffed toys], undated [enlarged duplicate of image 34]

Print unmounted.

(7.75x11")
Box 2 Image [35]
[Prizes at fair], undated

Print unmounted.

(7.75x11")
Box 2 Image [36]
Having fun, Durham County Fair, 1974 [fairgoers at target shooting stand]
(7.75x11")
Box 4 Image [37]
Durham County Fair, 1975 Sept. [woman jewelry vendor; print emulsion damaged]
(7.75x11")
Box 4 Image [38]
[White family playing by a river], 1975

Prints 39-48 are unmounted.

(4x6")
Box 2 Image [39]
[White family swimming in a river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [40]
[Searching by the river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [41]
[Boy by river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [42]
[Kids by river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [43]
[Getting ready to jump into river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [44]
[Playing beside the river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [45]
[Jumping off the bank], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [46]
[Jumping off bank], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [47]
[Young man by the river], 1975
(4x6")
Box 2 Image [48]
Eno River [Durham County, N.C.], 1973
(8x9.75")
Box 4 Image [49]
[River rocks], 1973
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [50]
Reflections, Little River, Fall 1973

[Mat has some staining from water damage.]

(10.25x10.25")
Box 5 Image [51]
[Snow in trees], 1974
(5.25x8")
Box 2 Image [52]
[Storm clouds over barns], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 2 Image [53]
[Sycamores], undated

Print unmounted.

(7.75x11")
Box 2 Image [54]
[Distant shot of two dogs on road, church in background on hill], undated
(4.5x6.5")
Box 2 Image [55]
[Sycamores], undated
(8x5.5")
Box 2 Image [56]
[Waterfall], undated
(5.5x8")
Box 3 Image [57]
[Lily pads], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [58]
[Lily pads], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [59]
[Lily pads], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [60]
[Field of daisies], undated
(5.25x7.5")
Box 3 Image [61]
Eno River, 1973 [Two African American boys]
(6.75x7")
Box 3 Image [62]
Eno River, 1973 [Two African American boys]
(6.75x7")
Box 3 Image [63]
Eno River, 1973 [Two African American boys]
(6.75x7")
Box 5 Image [64]
Kids at Eno, 1973

[Two African American boys. Enlarged duplicate of print 64; photo emulsion is slightly damaged.]

(10.5x11")
Box 5 Image [65]
Kids at the Eno, 1973
(10.5x10.75")
Box 5 Image [66]
Johnny Finch, 1973 [Young African American man]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 5 Image [67]
Johnny Finch, 1973 [Duplicate of print 67]
(8.5x13")
Box 5 Image [68]
[Two young African American men in front of store], undated

Prints 69-72 are unmounted.

(8.25x10.25")
Box 3 Image [69]
[Two young African American men, tobacco workers (?), in warehouse], undated
(7.75x11")
Box 3 Image [70]
[African American man in braids, tobacco worker (?)], undated
(7.75x11")
Box 3 Image [71]
[Young white woman, at state fair (?)], undated [print has light damage]
(7.75x11")
Box 3 Image [72]
[Young white woman, carnival vendor (?)], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [73]
Rough hands, Durham County Fair, 1974 [Two young white men - state fair workers (?)]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [74]
[Hiker resting on rocks], undated
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [75]
Mr. Arthur Revis #1, 1974 Nov. [Elderly African American man]
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [76]
Mr. Arthur Revis #2, 1974 Nov.
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [77]
Mr. Arthur Revis #3, 1979 Nov.
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [78]
Mr. Arthur Revis #4, 1979 Nov.
(5.5x7.5")
Box 3 Image [79]
[Mr. Arthur Revis], undated
(4.5x6.5")
Box 3 Image [80]

These 16 matted inkjet prints were exhibited at Through This Lens gallery in Durham, N.C., in 2006. They are all duplicates of images from the original collection described in the Photographic Prints Series. The prints range in size from 8x8" to 16x24.75". Matted prints measure as follows--Box 6: 16x20"; Box 7: 24x32". Captions supplied by library staff are in brackets. The subjects include barns from Durham and Orange counties, tobacco warehouses, African American tobacco workers, and a game booth at the fair. Included in the series is one of Grossman's most important photographs, "Sunbeam."

Arranged in original order as received, with image identifiers supplied by library staff.

Tobacco barn, Durham County, undated
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [81]
Barn, N. Duke St., Durham County, 1973
(8x12.5")
Box 6 Image [82]
[Barn with cart], undated
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [83]
[Cart on farm, detail], undated
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [84]
[Cigarette factory window detail], undated
(8x12.5")
Box 6 Image [85]
Liberty Warehouse [close-up of window with seed company advertisement, Durham, N.C.], 1974
(8.75x8.75")
Box 6 Image [86]
Liberty Warehouse [door with tobacco seed advertisements], 1974
(8x8")
Box 6 Image [87]
Hot dog stand, Sunday, 1974 Nov.
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [88]
Hot dog stand, 1974 Nov.
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [89]
Sunbeam, 1974
(16x24.75")
Box 7 Image [90]
Geer St. looking west, 1974 Nov.
(16x24.5")
Box 7 Image [91]
Having fun, Durham County Fair, 1974
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [92]
[Two African American men, tobacco workers (?)], undated
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [93]
[Four young African American men, tobacco workers], undated
(8x12.25")
Box 6 Image [94]
[Sitting man with cigarette], undated
(16x16")
Box 7 Image [95]
Break at tobacco auction, undated
(16x24.5")
Box 7 Image [96]

Series contains 488 negative images. The bulk are negative strips, but there are also larger single negatives cut by the photographer. Among the negatives are images that represent the photographic prints in the collection, but there are also many negative images for which prints do not exist, including images of locations in Durham city and county. Original titles supplied by photographer were taken from envelopes or sleeves; titles supplied by library staff are in brackets.

Original negatives are generally closed to access. Please consult with a reference archivist for more information.

Eno River, 1973
(22 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1974
(20 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1974
(16 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1975
(21 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1975
(20 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1976
(35 images)
Box 8
Orange Factory Rd, 1975
(27 images)
Box 8
Kids at Eno River, 1975
(21 images)
Box 8
Durham County, 1974
(15 images)
Box 8
Durham County, 1975
(20 images)
Box 8
15-501 around Durham, 1975
(15 images)
Box 8
Northgate Mall, 1972
(20 images)
Box 8
Patterson Mill, Durham, undated
(22 images)
Box 8
[Mostly images of individuals, some landscapes and individuals], 1969-1972
(28 images)
Box 8
[Buildings and landscapes], 1973
(17 images)
Box 8
[Mostly buildings, some landscapes, Hartman St?], 1974
(25 images)
Box 8
Barn, 1975
(12 images)
Box 8
Durham, 1971
(11 images)
Box 8
Durham County, 1970
(12 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1973
(11 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1975
(16 images)
Box 8
Northgate Mall, 1976
(12 images)
Box 8
Mill on Eno River, 1971
(11 images)
Box 8
[Landscapes], 1971
(8 images)
Box 8
[Landscapes and one portrait], 1972
(11 images)
Box 8
[Landscapes and Catsburg store], 1972
(12 images)
Box 8
[Landscapes and buildings], 1973
(12 images)
Box 8
[Robert's Drink Stand, buildings and portraits], 1974
(12 images)
Box 8
Eno River, 1975
(4 images)
Box 8

Historical Note

Will Grossman (1945-2012) was born in the Ukraine and emigrated to Brooklyn, New York, were he received a B.A. in Arts from Brooklyn College. He migrated to the South and received further training and an M.Ed. from North Carolina State University. He was active in developing and promoting educational programs and materials on Jewish history, including an exhibit, "Down Home," on Jewish life in the South.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Will Grossman photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Will Grossman photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2010 and 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Joanne Fairhurst and Matthew Warren, December 2012.

Encoded by Joanne Fairhurst, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, and Matthew Warren, December 2012.

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2010-0195, 2012-0113.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.