I.D. Photo Badges: Financial Times

I.D. Photo Badges:
Financial Times

Project Description

Snapshot: ‘ID Photo Badge Portraiture’

By India Ross

January 31, 2014

The images below come from an exhibition of 250 identity badges currently on display at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York.

They date from the 1930s to the early 1950s and show employees from companies including Firestone, the American Optical Company and Pittsburgh Steel.

Among these collected faces, many of which are anonymous, small individual details stand out: a woman’s lipstick, a man’s hat at a jaunty angle, a half-smile.

Comparing these simple images to contemporary “identification badges” such as Facebook profiles, the notes accompanying the show state, perhaps rather ambitiously, “These vintage badges, from a possibly simpler time, were all that was necessary to prove one’s authentic self and place in society.”