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February 01, 2011

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Jeff Donlan

I must defend the imagination of 1935: I'm sure it was not a B&W imagination. I think you're right that the magazine colors are perhaps too pluump because of technical challenges. It would seem that color printing had less control of value back then, whereas B&W printing had more. But the real world was full of color. Intuiting a B&W imagination from a preponderance of B&W photos is a bit like looking at Victorian photographic portraits and thinking Victorians never smiled. Although, I bet you're right in one way: I bet more people had a kind of B&W sensibility from the photographic arts of the time, but this would have been something in addition to their color sensibility.

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