Pittsburgh through the lens of Teenie Harris
  • Black Philadelphia through the lens of John W. Mosley
  • Peering through the lens of a Magiscope
  • " />
    Auction Finds

    Cleveland society through lens of Jimmy Baynes

    I was flipping through a box of photos of African Americans posing at fancy events when I decided to flip one of them over to see if it was identified. Most times, folks don’t bother to write much of anything on the backs of photos offered for auction.

    There was no mention of when this event took place or where, but I got something just as good: the name of the photographer. Jimmy Baynes of Cleveland, OH. He had stamped his name on the back of several of the photos, and some even carried his address.

    Intrigued, I Googled him, and realized that he was among the many black photographers who shot society, cultural and political photos of African Americans during the early part of the 20th century. They gave their communities positive images while others depicted them in awful images like the one I saw on the wall at this same auction house of little black children in a tree along with a derogatory message.

    Photo by Jimmy Baynes.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

    He joined an illustrious group that included Roy DeCarava in Harlem, the Scurlocks in Washington, DC; Teenie Harris in Pittsburgh, PA, John W. Mosley in Philadelphia, twins Morgan and Marvin Smith in Harlem, among others. Even before them was James Van Der Zee, who photographed black folks in Harlem in the 1920s. On an exhibit wall, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC has a list of many of these photographers who were located in cities across the country.

    The museum has mounted exhibits of some of these African Americans, books have been written about them, and PBS offered a series on them.

    Baynes was a new one for me. The photos at auctions were primarily society photos, along with several from what looked like a church banquet because one of the figures in the photos was identified as a minister.

    Photographer Jimmy Baynes. Photo from Jimmy Baynes Collection, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives.

    Photographer Jimmy Baynes. Photo from Jimmy Baynes Collection, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives.

    Baynes was an amateur photographer whose real job was as a postal worker. He began shooting in the 1950s and did so for more than three decades, capturing the life of African Americans in the city. He eventually opened his own Baynes Foto Service, providing pictures to local newpapers and magazines.

    When celebrities came to town – whether they were jazz, R&B or rock – he photographed them. Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Jordan, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Platters, the Drifters and others, along with local entertainers and local venues.

    A collection of the best of his photos are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives in Cleveland. Most of the photos in the collection are said to focus on music and entertainment.

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

    Baynes was born James Hamilton Baynes Jr. on July 12, 1922 in Cleveland, the oldest of 11 children, according to a biography accompanying the collection. His mother taught him how to play the piano, and he later learned to play the harp. At some point, he fell in love with photography.

    He could be seen at local events in his dark suits with his camera, shooting Polaroids of folks and selling them for $5 a piece. He shot weddings, beauty contests, burlesque shows and live music.

    Some of his works were part of a group show during the summer of 2010 at a gallery in Brooklyn, NY, a few months before he died in September 2010. The show was titled “Polaroid: Instant Joy.”

    Here are some of his photos from the auction:

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

     

    Jimmy Baynes photo.

    Jimmy Baynes photo at auction.

    Tagged as: ,

    Leave a Response

    Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

    bbc galapagos las islas que cambiaron el mundogalapagos cruise reviewsbest cruise ships galapagos islandsbest family galapagos cruisebest time to go to galapagos and machu picchubest time to go to peru and galapagosbiotech bedrijf galapagosbiotechnologiebedrijf galapagosbudget galapagos boat toursbudget galapagos cruise pricescaracteristicas de las islas galapagos antiguascaracteristicas de las islas galapagos flora y faunacaracteristicas de las islas galapagos mas antiguascaracteristicas islas antiguas galapagoscaracteristicas islas mas antiguas galapagoscelebrity cruise galapagos machu picchucelebrity cruise lines galapagos islandscelebrity cruises galapagos machu picchucelebrity cruises galapagos reviewscelebrity cruises galapagos xpeditioncelebrity xpedition galapagos 2014celebrity xpedition galapagos cancelledcelebrity xpedition galapagos cruisecelebrity xpedition galapagos cruise 2014celebrity xpedition galapagos excursionscelebrity xpedition galapagos machu picchucelebrity xpedition galapagos price