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Labor Day (May Day) parade, crowd in rain in street, New York. Photo by Bain News Service, May 1, 1909. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.03325

Rainy Days

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As one might expect given the season, April has arrived in the nation’s capital with substantial rain showers. Inspired by what I see outside and curious to see what kinds of rainy weather images I could find in the collections, I searched the online catalog.

There is no shortage of D.C.-based photographs in the collections. Among many photos of the U.S. Capitol I found this one, which captures a partial reflection of the building’s famous dome in a puddle:

View of the U.S. Capitol, at night, in rain. Photo by Paul Grenbeaux, 1919. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c05963

When perusing rain-related photographs, I was struck by the high number that featured substantial crowds. Cold showers did not deter a multitude from observing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second inauguration in 1937, as evident in this photograph:

Sea of umbrellas, Washington, D.C. January 20. President Roosevelt faced a veritable sea of umbrellas as he took his second oath of office and delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol today. Thousands braved the chill rain to witness the ceremony. Photo by Harris & Ewing, January 20, 1937. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.47285

A few decades earlier, this New York City crowd came equipped with umbrellas to attend a parade in the rain:

Labor Day (May Day) parade, crowd in rain in street, New York. Photo by Bain News Service, May 1, 1909. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.03325

Another New York City street shines in this photograph by New York World Telegram & Sun photographer Al Aumuller:

Looking east on 110th St. from Park Ave. Photo by Al Aumuller, April 25, 1947. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ds.03903

Judging by the smile on the bride’s face in this photo taken at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, rain has not put a damper on a happy occasion:

Bride and others crossing St. Peter’s Square in the rain, Vatican City, Rome, Italy. Photo by Thomas J. O’Halloran, December 9, 1959. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.71263

In addition to photographs, the collection includes works featuring rain by printmakers, including this famous woodcut, “Sudden shower over Shin-Ōhashi bridge and Atake,” by nineteenth-century Japanese artist Hiroshige:

Ōhashi atake no yūdachi [Sudden shower over Shin-Ōhashi bridge and Atake]. Andō Hiroshige, 1857. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/jpd.02950
This dream-like etching by Otto H. Bacher of a rainy night in Venice, with sources of light interspersed in the background and a gondolier at work in the foreground, conveys the romantic character of the city.

A rainy night, Venice. Etching by Otto H. Bacher, circa 1880. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g09919

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Comments

  1. What a beautiful assortment of images! Thanks for the smile on another rainy day in DC.

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