Wednesday, September 23, 2015

J. C. Coovert Collection

Photographer J. C. (John Calvin) Coovert was born in Danville, Kentucky, in 1862 and arrived in Greenville, Mississippi, around 1887. His studio, Patorno and Coovert, won a gold medal from the Paris Exposition in 1889 for "best state views." He went into business for himself around 1891, operating as Coovert's Photograph Gallery in Greenville, Memphis, Vicksburg, and Yazoo City, among other locations. He eventually settled in downtown Memphis, where he worked until his death, at age 75, on August 18, 1937.

Coovert is best known for his photographs of the cotton culture and the Mississippi River. However, Coovert's documentary photography covered a wide range of work activities and social conditions, including the programs of the Memphis Health, Police, and Public Works Departments.

These photos come from here.

Camp Ben Humphreys, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1897
Refugee camp, 1897
 Throwing up a new levee on the river front. 
Old levee was sloughing, March 30, 1897
African American men and women picking cotton, ca. 1900
African American men on loading docks, ca. 1900
The Robert E. Lee, ca. 1900

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