A Black-and-Tan Dive in “Africa” by Jacob Riis (c. 1890)

The photograph titled “A Black-and-Tan Dive in ‘Africa'” was taken by Jacob Riis circa 1890. The image depicts an interior scene that appears to be a poor, makeshift dwelling or perhaps a lowly tavern setting. On the left of the image, a piece of cloth hangs on the wall, covering something partially and adding a textural element to the scene. In the center, a man sits calmly on a barrel, looking directly at the camera. He is wearing a hat and what seems like work clothes. To the right, another man is visible but less clear, with a certain weariness or fatigue on his face. The surroundings are rough and bear the marks of heavy use or neglect, with the wall showing patches of peeled or damaged wallpaper.

The photograph captures the lived experience of individuals in the late 19th century, conveying a strong sense of atmosphere through its candid depiction of the subjects and their environment. The image is a testament to the social conditions of the period, as Jacob Riis was known for documenting the lives of the urban poor.

Other Photographs from Jacob Riis

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