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Estelle Wolf photographs

 Collection
Identifier: UAV000898
280 black and white photo prints

Dates

  • 1935-1937

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

.5 Linear Feet (1 MB) : Black and white photo prints

Abstract

The Estelle Wolf collection consists of 280 photographs Ms. Wolf took during her tenure as a WPA photographer in Detroit. Under the WPA, her assignments involved taking photos of workers on federally funded projects or of the people who benefited from these projects. The collection was originally housed in three scrapbooks. The photographs have been removed from the books, placed on archival backings, and are numbered by the original order. Some of the photographs in this collection were published within Progress in Michigan, a newsletter issued by the Michigan Works Progress Administration. Copies of Progress in Michigan can be found at the Bentley Historical Library of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Other examples of Wolf’s work can be found within the collections of the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.

History

Estelle Wolfe was born on July 21, 1886 in Evart, MI. She graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1905 and went on to study at Simmons College in Boston (1905-1907), and the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy (1919). From 1916-1918 she worked at the Neighborhood House in Louisville, KY, a settlement house providing services to immigrants and children. After the end of the war, Wolf relocated to Chicago to serve as a social worker for the American Red Cross at the Veteran’s Hospital (1918-1921). Following this, she returned to Grand Rapids where she worked for the Family Service Society and served as the manager of the Grand Rapids Women’s City Club.

In 1931, Wolf moved to New York City to attend the Clarence H. White School of Photography. Founded by Pictoralist master photographer Clarence H. White, the school was the first in America to teach photography as an art form, and heavily influenced Ms. Wolf’s later work. From 1935 to 1937, Wolf served as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Detroit, MI. Throughout the remainder of her life, Wolf worked both as a free-lance photographer, and as a fervent community activist. She died September 18, 1988, in New York City, at the age of 102.

Arrangement

The collection was originally housed in three scrapbooks. The photographs have been removed from the books, placed on archival backings, and are numbered by the original order.

Location

3W-D-7(4)

Acquisition

Materials were donated to the Walter P. Reuther Library by Estelle Wolf in December of 1978.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Elizabeth Clemens on April 10, 2008.
Title
Guide to the Estelle Wolf photographs
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Elizabeth Clemens
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA