Hershel Seymore and Unidentified Woman

Accession Number

Hershel Seymore and Unidentified Woman

Mike Disfarmer

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1940

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

3 in x 5 in (7.62 cm x 12.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Agah, Class of 1989 (BBA)

Subject matter
Mike Disfarmer, originally named Mike Meyer, owned and operated a portrait studio in rural Heber Springs, Arkansas between 1926 and his death in 1959. Often considered an eccentric man, Disfarmer changed his name after his mother’s death to dissociate himself from his roots. He believed that a tornado had uprooted him as an infant and that he landed with the Meyer family, a name he believed meant “farmer” in German. His photographs were discovered in his studio before it was demolished following his death, and purchased for five dollars. They were later offered to the Arkansas Sun and shared with Modern Photography, which lead to the production of a major book and exhibition in 1976 and 1977. Disfarmer’s images have since gained more attention and praise for documenting and offering rare insight into a small, rural town.

Physical Description
A bust portrait of a couple. On the left, a man smiles, wearing a hat and button-up, long-sleeved shirt. He places his arm around the woman sitting to the right. She smiles, wearing a striped, collared dress.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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men (male humans)
studio portraits

8 Related Resources

(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Photographic Portraiture 1900-1948
(Part of: Identity and Self-Understanding)
Race, Gender, Class, and American Identity
(Part of 11 Learning Collections)
Intimacy, Care, and Desire
(Part of: Masculinities)

& Author Notes

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