As the previous “Words About Pictures” blog post demonstrated, street scenes can offer considerable matter for interpretation. Not only do they show exteriors, but they stir thoughts about interiors: what might be going on inside the buildings or the people depicted?
Here’s an image that brings interior and exterior together in an interesting way and elicited many comments from National Book Festival visitors.
One visitor, upon viewing the picture without a caption, offered these responses to our questions:
What do you see in the picture?
“There is a beautiful woman with a dog. Looking out of the window observing what’s happening outside, they look content.”
What do you think that the photographer was trying to show?
“The photographer captured the changing times. Liberation, Freedom, love, and happiness.”
We’re grateful to this individual and the many other visitors who shared thoughts about the photo with us, helping to demonstrate the many meanings a single picture can inspire.
- View information about Gordon Parks and some of his earlier work for the Farm Security Administration in the essay, “Ella Watson, U.S. Government Charwoman,” taken from a chapter in Documenting America, 1935-1943 edited by Carl Fleischhauer and Beverly W. Brannan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
- View more photographs Gordon Parks took in New York in 1943 in the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection.