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Elinor B. Cahn Born in 1925 in Baltimore, Ms. Cahn was raised in the city that would
become the focus of this project. She attended the Park School and, after marriage
and raising a family, returned to the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore,
Maryland, to major in photography. She was key to the Social Documentary Photography
course because she knew East Baltimore well and interacted easily with the residents
who would become central to the project. Her photographs were exhibited at local galleries
and the Baltimore Museum of Art. A memorial fund has been established at MICA in her
name. Joan Clark Netherwood Born in York, South Carolina, in 1932, Ms. Netherwood’s
career began in banking in South Carolina and Kentucky. She moved to fundraising and
development work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the District
of Columbia and eventually to the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore,
Maryland. There she became a full-time returning student in photography and received
her B.F.A. in 1977. In the fall of 1976 she took a course in Social Documentary Photography
from Linda G. Rich. It was in this course that she, Ms. Rich, and another student,
Elinor B. Cahn, initiated the East Baltimore Documentary Photography Project. Linda
G. Rich Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1949, Ms. Rich received her B.A. in Communication
Arts (radio and television) in 1971 and her M.F.A. in Art (photography and graphics)
from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1975. After a series of teaching assistantships
in the Department of Art in Madison she became an Instructor at the Maryland Institute
College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. There, she taught a course in Social Documentary
Photography during which she and two returning students developed the project that
is the subject of this archive. Throughout the early 1970s she gave numerous lectures
on topics such as Women in the Arts and New Directions in Photography. During the
same time she exhibited photographs in nearly 50 venues including four one-person
The East Baltimore Documentary Photography Collection is divided into series that
include the logistics/administrative aspects of the project as it developed and the
content itself – the photographs and interviews. Publication of the book involved
selecting photos from the exhibits and adding text which depends heavily on the taped
interviews. The collection is organized into five series: Series I. Project Series
II. Book Series III. Exhibit Series IV. Research Series V. Interviews
The collection was intended to reside at UMBC. Joan C. Netherwood delivered boxes
of photos, proofs, tapes, and peripheral items such as publicity and press clippings.
Administrative papers and documents of support from local government and institutions
were included somewhat randomly as well. Papers other than taped interviews, photographs,
and permission slips were found throughout the files in the boxes. Duplicate publicity
handouts and press reviews were weeded out. Specifications regarding film, camera
shots, and development procedures are scattered throughout the boxes but are primarily
in Series III. Photographs and interview tapes were carefully preserved in envelopes
clearly marked with the names of each participant. An inventory was prepared to document
the items in each box. This inventory was used to reorganize the archives in a logical
order to facilitate research. This finidng aid was initially drafted by Mary Jane
Arnold and published by Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare, in July 2021.
Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS)
Archives Processing Manual: Description (2015): The processing manual used in Special Collections for all descriptive platforms, including
Finding Aid is available.
The collection is open for research. There are no restricted materials.
Permission is required for all reproduction requests. Copyright maintained by the
Rich, Linda G.
Netherwood, Joan Clark
Cahn , Elinor B.
East Baltimore (Baltimore, Md.)--Social life and customs.
Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Date: 1980, bulk undated
Date: 1980-1982, bulk undated