I would have never imagined that my blog BaumwollArchives.com and my little films would have reached an audience over 1 million. I also hoped it to be a place for my husband Andrew Reach (andrewreach.com) and his art to be remembered when we are gone. We will be together 40 years. When I started, I never thought that my work would go all around the world and so many of you sharing your thoughts and love. I hope you enjoy my little films. I want to thank all of you who have looked at my work and enjoyed it for what it is, a moment in time to just let go.
Baumwoll Archives started as a labor of love. The idea came to me when my husband Andrew Reach and I went to hear Scott Ligon, author of the book “Digital Art Revolution”, and professor and head of the digital art department at Cleveland Institute of art. Andrew was personally invited to hear the lecture. As I sat there with Andrew and listened to Scott speak, I became more intrigued with what he was saying. He was telling the audience that we live in a new age, an age where everything is becoming accessible to all through digital technology and the internet. Through his presentation he showed us the power of giving back what we have by sharing and giving it away and by doing so, will be amazed at what will come back to you. Instead of hoarding anything, release it and let it be free to live on, way beyond the life we are living today. Before this digital age, most things were lost. That’s why so many of us are now being able to reconnect with the family histories we lost because of the ease of research through the internet with genealogy. When the lecture was over, and Andrew and I were talking with Scott and his wife, I let Scott know that he inspired me and I was going to go home and try to allow myself to let go of all that I was holding on to.
And so I began
Memories Of Edgemere Far Rockaway – The Photographs by Murray Cooper “New York, New York” performed by Frank Sinatra
This video features the Kodachrome Photographs by the late Murray Cooper, loaned to Baumwoll Archive through the Library of Barbara Cooper. The beginning montage of black and white photographs are by an unknown photographer. The iconic black & white aerial photo is of the boardwalk at Edgemere on July 4, 1957 by Margaret Bourke-White.
The subject of the photos are of life at the Bungalow Colony at Beach 38th Street and a wonderful portrait of life on the Boardwalk and on the beach between 1957 and 1961. Through his photographs, he weaves us a world of families leaving the hot city, mostly from the Bronx, to have a wonderful life during the summer at the bungalow colony, from their evening gatherings, to all the families sitting on the porches talking, to the utterly amazing boardwalk photographs. He captures his beloved Pearl, his family and extended family and other returning families who came to the same Bungalow Colony every summer.
As I mentioned before on my blog, Beach 38th Street holds a very special place to me personally, and one of the things that was lost to me were photographs of the street and the house. Through an unbelievable chain of events all of us will get to enjoy these amazing photographs of a time and place and a way of life that has slipped away. With my world being all on Beach 38th Street with my grandparents owning and running one of the big summer homes, in many of his photographs he captures the home. It is the large brown house right off the Boardwalk. These are the first pictures I’ve seen of the house since I was a boy.
Murray Cooper considered himself an amateur photographer, using a professional quality 35 mm camera and Kodachrome film. But the quality of the pictures speak otherwise. His photographs in the end will be compared with the great photographs of New York. Murray never got to see where his photographs will get to travel in today’s world. The internet will take these pictures everywhere.
I wish to Thank Barbara Cooper for sharing her father’s photographs with us.
I dedicate this video to Murray and Pearl Cooper.