Image of the Week #34: More Bonwit Teller & Co

The Wellesley News (02-28-1918)

What Is It

An advertisement from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 

Why I Find It Interesting

One of the earliest images in this project looked at a Bonwit, Teller, & Co image and this one is in a similar vein  in terms of its content.  Again, the imagery surrounding the ad is striking in terms of the representation of elite white women being wooed by elite white men with cupid smack-dab in the middle, while the entire scene is held up by either Africans, Middle-Eastern or Southeast Asian workers. It's such a strong message about how the Bonwit Teller & Co as well as the society at large view race. I know this was fairly common for the time, but it is striking to how clear of a message such an image communicates about the nature of race in American society.  

This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.