Henri Cartier-Bresson – Greenfield, Indiana, 1960

Greenfield, Indiana, 1960

Henri Cartier-Bresson
French, 1908-2004

Gelatin silver print
10 7/16 x 15 3/8 in. (26.5 x 39.1 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the photographer, Obj: 204759
©2010 Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

August 22nd is the 109th anniversary of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s birth. To mark the anniversary in a personal way, I found an image by HCB that was taken in my hometown, albeit 10 years before my birth. The county political office shown in the photo above was still standing in the early 1980s; sitting empty with these same windows covered with newspaper. The entire building located on North State Street, one block away from the National Road, US Highway 40, was razed and an empty lot now stands where HCB’s photo was taken.

I find the image interesting and a bit surreal; the women in the photograph are wearing mock Native American ‘buckskin’ attire, and headbands — one with a feather —while exiting an political office with a sign to attract un-registered, Republican voters for the upcoming presidential election.

While I’m uncertain why HCB was in Greenfield, Indiana at the time, I can only hope the award winning Magnum photographer found Greenfield to be an interesting location, with some interesting people who don’t always match up with what you’d expect. Much like today.

Researched and found in the online archive generously made available by the Art Institute of Chicago

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