Anacostia: Through the Photograph of Frank R. Jackson

Through his camera lens Frank R. Jackson (1908-2007) documented the Anacostia area of Washington, DC.  A native Washingtonian, Mr. Jackson graduated from Dunbar High School in 1925, then he attended Miner Teachers College.  Jackson taught for several years in Maryland before returning to the District.  He was also a creator of crossword puzzles and worked for the Government Printing Office.

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Frank Jackson with Dunbar High School classmates, circa 1926. Frank R. Jackson papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Carole A. Hyman.

Mr. Jackson became a professional photographer in the 1950s and co-owned a photography studio: Turner-Jackson Photography at 1934 11th street, N.W. He married Florence Thomas in 1933, a teacher at the Apex Cosmetology School on U Street. In 1940, the couple bought a house on Alabama Avenue in Anacostia.  Mr. Jackson started photographing various activities of neighborhood kids a decade later.  Although he specialized in family portraits, Jackson’s photographic negatives of Anacostia not only provide a window into the local community during that time period but “reflect the growth and development of Anacostia.”

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Mrs. Florence Jackson at her home on 1949 Alabama Avenue, SE. Frank R. Jackson papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Carole A. Hyman.

Frank R. Jackson collection also include studio portraits, snapshots from his Dunbar High School years, a scrapbook of poetry, and beauty school objects belonging to Mrs. Florence Jackson.  The collection was donated to the museum in 2009 by Carole A. Hyman (Mr. Jackson’s niece).

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Soap box derby, photograph by Frank R. Jackson, Frederick Douglass Dwellings collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Free Panel Discussion on Photo Trends & Evolution Tuesday Dec. 9

I will be participating on an interesting panel discussing Photo Trends & Evolution in our digital age at the Martin Luther King Library Tuesday Dec. 9. This meetup is sponsored by Net2Squared DC.  Please join us and bring your thoughts and questions!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Digital Commons
901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC (map)

In this panel discussion we will be exploring how the world of photography has evolved from the days of the film camera to mobile phone cameras. It has evolved tremendously as an art form and as a profession. Camera technology is more accessible than ever. Everyone is a “photographer.” What are the implications of this for both amateur and professional photographers? Media outlets are now crowdsourcing photography from their audience. What does it mean to be a photographer in this age of “phoneography”? The event is free and open to everyone from hobbyist and professional photographers to photo enthusiasts.

Panelists:
o James Campbell, Photographer & Founder of InstantDC
o Joshua Cogan, Documentary Photographer
o Holly Garner, Mobile Phone Photographer & Instagram igdc Organizer
o Susana Raab, Documentary Photographer & Photographer at Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
o Matt Rakola, Editorial Photographer & DC Chair of American Photographic Artists

Moderator:
Roshani Kothari, Photographer & NetSquared DC Organizer

Discussion Questions:
1. How are things evolving in terms of camera technology–DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, mobile phone cameras, etc.?

2. What are the online technology trends in terms of photo sharing communities, like Flickr, Instagram and other sites?

3. Now all media outlets are about multimedia. NPR has photography and video. An article on National Geographic’s website includes video along with images. What is the role of photography in a multimedia world, and how is the profession being impacted?

4. How is photography being used for social good? Everything from community photography projects to nonprofits using photography to enhance their online campaigns.

These are just a few of the many questions we will be discussing. We look forward to an exciting discussion about photo trends and evolution!

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