Danny Lyon’s Documerica Color Photos from the 1970s

 

I am a huge fan of Danny Lyon’s photography.

In my collection, I have three original prints, including one from Conversations with the Dead – a book that changed my perception of the nature of documentary photography. Recently, I ran across these images he shot in the 1970s for Documerica. I was not aware of this work and I love the fact that the reproduction of the images includes the edges of the slides as well as more than a bit of surface dust. They also have that wonderful otherworldly 1970s color.
I suggest you check out the work of the other photographers who worked for Documerica on Flickr.

Just the Facts:
From the Documerica – Danny Lyon page on Flickr:
While on assignment for Documerica, Danny Lyon captured striking images of inner city American life of the early 1970s, including neighborhoods in El Paso, Houston, Galveston, Chicago, and the boroughs of New York City.
Photos are from between April 1972 & July 1974.

From the U. S. National Archives page on Flickr:
For the Documerica Project (1971-1977), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s. 

The U.S. National Archives digitized more than 15,000 photographs from the series Documerica (Local ID 412-DA) and included them in our online catalog.


Teenager in Second Ward Neighborhood, 06/1972
Original Caption: Teenager in Second Ward, Chicano Neighborhood, 06/1972


The Kosciusko Public Swimming Pool in the Heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant District of Brooklyn in New York City…07/1974

Original Caption: The Kosciusko Public Swimming Pool in the Heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant District of Brooklyn in New York City. People Here Enjoy Themselves at the Intelligently Located Pool. The Inner City Environment Is Made Up of Human Beings, as Beautiful and Threatened as the Buildings in Which They Live. Some of the Best American Architecture Survives in the “Worst” Neighborhoods, 07/1974


Two Youths in Uptown, Chicago, Illinois … 08/1974

Original Caption: Two Youths in Uptown, Chicago, Illinois, a Neighborhood of Poor White Southerners. The Inner City Today Is an Absolute Contradiction to the Main Stream America of Gas Stations Expressways, Shopping Centers and Tract Homes. It Is Populated by Blacks, Latins and the White Poor. Some of the Best American Architecture Survives in Her “Worst” Neighborhoods, Only Because It Hasn’t Been Demolished 08/1974