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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Mike Disfarmer, Homer, Laura, and Alton Jackson

Mike Disfarmer, Homer, Laura, and Alton Jackson

Mike Disfarmer

Homer, Laura, and Alton Jackson
Silver gelatin print
Gift of Harley and Stephen S. Osman, Class of 1956, Tuck 1957; 2005.83.17

The reclusive Arkansas photographer Mike Meyer (1884-1959) legally changed his name to Disfarmer to disassociate himself from both his family and the farming community of Heber Springs, where he worked for forty years. He is best known for his hauntingly direct studio images from the late 1930s and early 1940s that capture the awkwardness and human frailties of ordinary people. Here a young farmer and his wife have not even removed their overcoats as they stand with their baby before a plain, dark backdrop. The husband’s sober, penetrating gaze suggests that their happiness as new parents may be mitigated by workaday concerns. This vintage photograph was printed as a postcard and inscribed: "From Laura and Family to Amy and / Family. With Love. Made Feb. 26, 1940."

This is one of thirty Disfarmer photographs that Harley and Stephen Osman and their children have donated in advance of Mr. Osman's fiftieth Dartmouth reunion. Since 2001, the Osmans have given over one thousand photographs to the Hood.

Last Updated: 11/14/06