Wednesday 3 June 2009

Snapshots - 9

The term A and P show has really fallen out of orbit. Who in Auckland would know what that phrase means now? Probably only people aged over 50. The Agricultural and Pastoral shows were a big thing in our regional towns in the 1950s. Held usually at the end of summer they brought displays of farm animals and equipment together with baking, sewing and craft exhibits. There were always prizes hotly contested for. Ribbons were awarded also. Often 'side shows' were included at the show; the most popular always being the sick-making Octopus. Queues for that orbital machine were always extensive.

The above image is Graeme and Milward Blundell at the Pahiatua Domain in February 1949. A member of the Salvation Army Band is in the background and most of the women are wearing sun hats.

Here are the brothers again, in December 1951, at the Pahiatua High School fancy dress dance. Where is their fancy dress? Graeme has obviously decided that wearing his glasses is not such a good idea at this dance. Girls are present!

On Sunday 7 June at 1pm I will talk about Snapshots - The Vernacular in New Zealand Photography in the Gallery's Art Lounge.

1 comment:

Brett Payne said...

Thanks, Ron, for the invite and how interesting seeing your series of photographs together with your discussions of them. I'll make sure to visit regularly now that I know about it, and look forward to seeng and reading about many more. I may even be able to make it to your lecture on Sunday!

A&P shows may be something in the dim and distant past to Aucklanders, but they are still pretty well attended and reported on by folk in the Bay of Plenty. I think you would find scenes not too dissimilar from that shown in your snapshot, although the clothing styles and attitudes may have changed somewhat. They're still not too different from those that I grew up attending a continent away and a generation ago.

Your images have caused me to reflect on the many such vernacular images in my own collection, and I think I'll try to dig out some more that may be of general interest to feature on Photo-Sleuth in the next few weeks.

Regards, Brett