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Between and Mortarboard


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Billy & Kathlene Adams

Accession Number
2012/2.17

Title
Billy & Kathlene Adams

Artist(s)
Mike Disfarmer

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1940

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

Dimensions
4 1/2 in x 3 in (11.43 cm x 7.62 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 couple seated in front of a striped backdrop with their arms around one another. A woman sits on the left, wearing a light dress, her feet hovering above the ground. A man sits on the right, wearing trousers, a light short-sleeved shirt, and hat.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
couples
double portraits
hats
men (male humans)
studio portraits
women (female humans)

6 Related Resources

Families
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
Marriage
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Photographic Portraiture 1900-1948
(Part of: Identity and Self-Understanding)
Race, Gender, Class, and American Identity
(Part of 10 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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