The Kriegsmann Files - Found Publicity Photos

Chris Higgins

Following up on Monday's Square America post, _floss staffer Kara Kovalchik pointed me to The Kriegsmann Files, an archive of old publicity photos on Flickr.

The story goes that the photos were found in a Venice (California?) alleyway, discarded as trash, then picked up and cataloged online. Judging from the selection of 178 photos that found their way online, there's a lot of material here. The photos are primarily the work of James J. Kriegsmann, who started out as the Cotton Club's house photographer, taking publicity photos of many jazz greats. In his later work, Kriegsmann photographed the less famous among us -- for example, he was the photographer for New York's Miss Subways contest. Most (okay, maybe all) of the photographs in the Kriegsmann Files are of unknowns, many of which display a heartfelt earnestness that apparently didn't translate into commercial success. Check out, for example: Moonfast, Silverlight, Nbuda Funkshun, Fairchild, Amerasia, and Lee Noble.

Read more about the photos or just sit back for a sweet slideshow.