Photography: Branson DeCou Archive

Photographer Branson DeCou traveled the world for thirty years before his death in 1941. Since 1971, when the University of California – Santa Cruz received his huge slide collection it has been the home of the archive of photographer Branson DeCou.

Branson DeCou produced mainly lantern slides imprinted on glass twice as big as 35-mm slides, that made them delicate to handle and almost impossible for general or public use.

Thanks to a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation the UCSC could buy state-of-the-art scanning equipment and process 1,475 of the 10,000 DeCou slides in their collection.

The 1,475 slides processed and made available online are photographs that Branson DeCou took in Italy during several trips in the 1920s and early 1930s. They show scenes of daily life as well as artwork and destinations popular till today.

The 1,475 photographs Branson DeCou took in Italy, on what we believe were several trips in the 1920s and early 1930s, captured on film the popular cultural sites of Rome, Venice, and Florence, and picturesque tourist destinations like the Ligurian and Amalfi rivieras and the Alpine hills and lakes of the North. These scenes would screen well for American audiences, providing access to masterworks of art, introducing “originals” to those who had never seen them, enhancing familiarity with high culture, influencing taste, and playing with the American imagination of bucolic Mediterranean lands, which one might experience if only one could travel. Shown during the American depression years, these images must have offered nostalgic views of a cultural paradise and simple lifestyles, perhaps even pulling at the heart strings of those in attendance with European backgrounds.

Click on the image below for the link

link to DeCou Archive web site

More information on Branson DeCou’s work and the collection at the Branson DeCou archive web site.

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