Waltzing With Polar Bears

The Unexpected Joy of Viewing Photos From a Forgotten German Fad

Combing through photographs at flea markets brings its own particular thrill. The act carries a voyeuristic delight, akin to reading a stranger’s diary or listening in on someone else’s confession.

Every now and then, a newspaper story will publicize an unmasking of a picture-taker or subject in a frame: a man buys a stack of negatives in a Barcelona flea market only to discover a forgotten talent. A woman in California tracks down the true story of a sick Minnesota child. But these are the exceptions. More often than not, the …

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Plumage in Peril | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Plumage in Peril

Pausha Foley is a Santa Barbara-based painter and multi-media artist who works in pen and ink. Self-taught, she has developed her intimate style through years of exploration into the various forms …

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing

Archival Photographs Reveal an Engineered Labyrinth of Civic Optimism

Below our city streets lies an ad-hoc world of subterranean tunnels and pipes. The oldest are brick and concrete sewers that once carried waste streams in one direction, rainfall overflow …

When Americans Bought the Illusion of ‘Indoor-Outdoor Living’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Americans Bought the Illusion of ‘Indoor-Outdoor Living’

Postwar Suburban Homes With Big Windows and Patios Sold the Idea of Leisure—and Air Conditioning

Think of postwar America, and what often comes to mind is a white, heterosexual family, pictured in a domestic suburban environment. You can tell this family lives in the …

Paradise’s Charred Remains | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Paradise’s Charred Remains

A Photographer and a Writer Document Five Generations of Family Mementos After the 2019 Camp Fire

On November 8, 2018, endless images streamed from the Camp Fire in my hometown of Paradise, California. A single day generated thousands of pictures that filled the world with a …