Gottscho and Googie

SHORPY Gottscho

August 13, 1957. Greenfield Park, New York. “Tamarack Lodge. Sharp view.” .Large-format acetate negative by Samuel H. Gottscho.

This prime example of Mid-Century Modern was taken in 1957 by Samuel H. Gottscho. The Googie-style architecture meets the dart-sharped muscle car  in the blazing sun of postwar prosperity.

Gottscho (1875-1971) was a very industrious architectural photographer in New York who didn’t go professional until he turned 50, after 23 years as a lace salesman. Now that’s a career trajectory that gives you hope. He even claimed his best work was done at 70, which gives me hope.

See how he organizes the picture in a tightly structured design: the sweeping diagonal white lines contrasted with the static dark of the car; the sense of movement, and that summery brightness. For more of his excellent photographs see this Museum of the City of New York site which shows a very disciplined and intelligent photographer.

The subject of this photograph is Tamarack Lodge, a hotel in the Catskills which burnt down in 2012. Its new owner was charged with arson soon after.


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