Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection
  Indiana University Archives / Digital Library Program

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Cushman's Earlier Works

View a Sample of Cushman's Black & White Photographs

In addition to the Kodachrome slides, the Charles Weever Cushman Collection also consists of more than 2,200 black and white negatives and prints. Nearly all of these were donated at the time the bulk of the slide collection was given to the Indiana University Archives in October of 1972. This portion of the collection will be digitized at a later date and presented with Cushman's Kodachrome slide collection.

Cushman did not describe his black and white collection nearly as well as the slide collection; in nearly every case each slide has its own unique description which includes date and place, and event or person. The black and white negatives and prints were only described at the roll level. Thus, the descriptions for the black and white usually only consist of a span date and an indication as to what states or cities Charles happened to be in while that particular roll of film was in his camera. There are, however, many image descriptions on par with those in the slide collection.

Within this portion of Cushman's collection you may find images of the Cushman family; Poseyville, Indiana; a rare image of Jim Thorpe jogging on Jordan Field at Indiana University (Thorpe was an assistant coach on the I.U. football team in 1915); children in El Paso, Texas (1937); the Union Pacific's Los Angeles Limited in 1937; the Indiana University Marching Band at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field; Washington D.C. and the neighborhood of Georgetown in 1940; Cushman's trip between Corbin, Kentucky, and Miami, Florida in February of 1939; construction images of Chicago's new subway at State Street and Roosevelt Road (1941); white and African-American children standing outside a movie theatre on South State Street in Chicago (1941); and many other images that include Charles' staples of buildings, industry, people, mountains and other "panoramics," animals, and trees.

The black and white images range in dates from the late 19th century through about 1941. While the bulk of the images from circa 1915 to 1941 were shot by Charles himself, the same cannot be said for the images that pre-date 1915. Some of these images were obviously taken by other members of the Cushman family when Charles was a small boy. And, with a very small exception, nearly all of the prints of 19th century images are made from copy negatives; the original "vintage" prints are not present and it is unknown who shot the copy negatives and made the corresponding prints. For the remaining images between the time of Charles' birth and circa 1915, and because it is unclear when he first started shooting his own photographs, it will probably never be possible to tell which of those images were actually taken by Charles himself or other members of his family.