LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT OF GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER, SIGNED BY HIM
CARVER, George Washington. Photograph signed. No place, June 27, 1938. Gelatin silver photographic print, measuring 7-1/2 by 9-3/4 inches. $4500.
Large gelatin silver print of an elderly George Washington Carver speaking at a podium, signed: "Geo. W. Carver, Jun. 27-1938."
Born the son of slaves, Carver, considered by many as the inventor of peanut butter, struggled to find a college that would accept him. Ultimately, he earned a master's degree in agriculture in 1896 from Iowa State University; that same year, he accepted Booker T. Washington's offer to "head the agricultural department at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Macon County, Alabama… in both his teaching and his research his primary goal was to alleviate the crushing cycle of debt and poverty suffered by many black farmers who were trapped in sharecropping and cotton dependency. As director of the only all-black agricultural experiment station, he practiced what was later called 'appropriate technology,' seeking to exploit available and renewable resources. In the classroom, in such outreach programs as farmers' institutes and a wagon equipped as a mobile school, and in agricultural bulletins Carver taught how to improve soil fertility without commercial fertilizer, how to make paints from native clays, and how to grow crops that would replace purchased commodities. He especially advocated peanuts as an inexpensive source of protein and published several bulletins containing peanut recipes… Carver never earned more than $1,200 a year and refused compensation from peanut producers" (ANB). In 1938, the year this photograph was signed, Carver created a museum of his work and founded the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee to continue his agricultural research. Frugal throughout his life, he was able to donate $60,000 (over a million dollars today) to support the creation of his foundation. Accompanied by negative produced from this photograph (i.e. with signature in the negative). Numerous news agency notations on verso: "George Washington Carver Negro Scientist" in blue pencil; "George Washington Carver Tuskegee scientist" in pencil; "Col 54 $5—" in pencil; date stamps reading "Jun 8 1937" and "1937 May 26 Am 2 46," stamp reading "[N]ews Staff Photographer," and stamp reading "Photographer Hoffman Reporter" and signed in pencil "Schoenfeld."
A few faint creases. Near-fine condition.