Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lafayette Studios photographs now on ExploreUK

We are pleased to announce that the Lafayette Studios photographs are now available on ExploreUK. Due to the sheer size of this collection and nature of the description, it was divided by date into four finding aids.

Scope and Content: The Lafayette Studios photographs consists of 17,269 photographic negatives (52.0 cubic feet, 115 boxes) in the 8x10, 5x7, and 4x5 formats and both nitrate and acetate base materials are present. Scenes of commercial real estate in downtown Lexington predominate, but civil and social groups are represented, as well as photographic orders filled at the request of private individuals that cover a wide array of subject matter.

History: Robert J. "Bob" Long and his wife, Ida Nelson Long, opened Lafayette Studios in 1923, operating it out of the New Johns Building at 108 Walnut Street (now Martin Luther King Boulevard) in Lexington, Kentucky. Bob and Ida Long already had a few years experience in still and moving image photography and Bob Long worked as a projectionist at the newly opened Kentucky Theatre on East Main Street. In 1925, they expanded their business and moved the studio space to 311 West Main Street. By the early 1930s, the Longs bought out their main competitor, Starman Studios. Around this time, Bob Long left his job at the Kentucky Theatre and focused on building Lafayette Studios into Lexington's most successful photographic studio. In the late 1930s, the Longs moved again, this time to the Starman Studio space, at 301 West Main Street. By 1941, they moved again, settling into 141-143 North Limestone; it was to be the studio's home until 1984. In 1959, the Longs sold Lafayette Studios to Chester Wainscott and Goy Goforth and retired. After 1962, Wainscott became the sole owner and operator until the studio closed in 1985 at its final location of 111 South Limestone.


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