WWI Photography US in London detail
WWI Photography Catalog

The Fine Print

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Jeff Donlan

Picturesque laborers are a great balm to the middle and upper classes. It lets us know that everything is really OK and that God intended it this way. It is permission to be, briefly, happy.

John F. Ptak

You're right. I was going to write something about the fact that the great majority of the laborers in the 1000+ images in the Pyne book weren't actually, um, laboring. The one coming up is about itinerant mowers. They were sharpening stuff, but not actually working. Like most of the picturesque trades featured in the book, it was more the idea of people working than seeing them work that was the most appealing. As you said, "happy".

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