Colorama

NASSAU BAHAMAS 1966 - HANK MAYER

About this photograph

For forty years, the enormous color transparencies that graced Grand Central Terminal in New York City touched the hearts of millions. Today, the Colorama collection represents not only an appealing and believable idealization of American life, but a nuanced and effective use of photographs to create desire for the products and activities they sold. As a museum of the photograph in history and culture, located in the city that Kodak made and made famous the George Eastman Museum is uniquely equipped to celebrate and explore these innovative and seminal advertisements. Now, years after the last Colorama has left Grand Central, a reexamination of these enchanting images offers insight into the histories of photographic practices and technologies, advertising, and the American story. Five hundred and sixty-five Coloramas were produced between 1950 and 1990. We are pleased to share a selection of these Coloramas with a new generation of viewers, who, we hope, will respond, not only as Edward Steichen did in 1950, “agog and smiling, all just feeling good, ” but with a thought to how these productions shaped a generation.

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Classic

24x36cm

Selection

30x45cm

Large

60x90cm

Giant

100x150cm

Collection

120x180cm

Exception

150x225cm

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The artist

COLORAMA

Coloramas were giant, backlit images by Kodak, in the hall of the Grand Central Station in New York, which the firm used to showcase it's photographic technical skills . Used as advertising tools in the legendary Manhattan train station from 1950 to 1990, the images were transparent and backlit, with exceptional dimensions spanning 18 metres wide by 6 metres high. This was a first in the world of photography. Through their spectacular, almost surrealistic stagings, these panoramas became communication tools for the promotion of the brand's film and cameras. For over 40 years Kodak Colorama Display staged the story of an ideal family, in other words, the very expression of the post-war American dream.

About George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States. Its holdings comprise more than 450,000 photographs; 28,000 motion picture films; the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology…. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and makes critical contributions in the fields of film preservation and photographic conservation.

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