Polly Smith: Fair Park, Photography and the Texas Centennial – free webinar Oct. 15

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Join the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, Dallas Historical Society and Dallas Center for Photography on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30pm CDT for a fascinating online event about Texas history, women photographers, photographic history and processes, Depression-era works, and the birth and history of Fair Park and its crown jewel, The Hall of State.

In 1935 a young photographer named Polly Smith was commissioned by officials of the Texas Centennial to travel around the state and make a series of photographs capturing the people and places that made Texas unique. The images were to coincide with the 100-year celebration of independence, and it was the first time that photography was used for state marketing and the promotion of tourism. A select group of those photos were printed using the unique orotone process and have been hanging in the Hall of State ever since.

This year, the Hall is undergoing an extensive $14 million interior and exterior renovation. The Polly Smith orotones have suffered from environmental damage over the years and to prevent further deterioration should be preserved. Though not part of the overall remodel, efforts are being made to acquire grant money to preserve all 18 of these beautiful prints.

Polly grew up in various Texas towns and studied photography with Edward Steichen in New York City. She shot for publications as varied as House Beautiful, Architectural Forum, Pictorial Review, and many others. Texas Parade called Polly “one of Texas’ finest artists with the camera.” After her work was shown at Fair Park, she went on to photograph for industrial clients in aviation, agriculture, oil, and livestock.

The history of her early Texas Centennial photos is tightly woven into the history of photography, women as commercial artists and the history of Texas and our city. Join us for this captivating webinar that will take us back to 1936 to the work of an intrepid photographer and the huge Centennial celebration that gave us Fair Park. Learn about the renovation of the Hall of State and the orotone process used to make those unique photographic prints.

This webinar Registration is FREE and open to all. You must register to receive the Zoom webinar information. https://dallascenterforphotography.org/classes-and-workshops/polly-smith-fair-park-photography-and-the-texas-centennial/

Submitted by Dallas Center for Photography. Email: info@dallascenterforphotography.org Website: https://dallascenterforphotography.org/classes-and-workshops/polly-smith-fair-park-photography-and-the-texas-centennial/