1962–1980s, bulk 1960–1970
337 35mm slides, 42 x 2 slides, and 61 prints
In 1962, Rhode Island native Roland Leveque moved to Virginia and began photographing the courthouses of Virginia. Within the same year, Roland Leveque passed away and his son, George Philip Leveque, decided to carry on the project. Over a period of almost thirty years, George Leveque photographed every courthouse in Virginia. This collection has all but six of his images. He also photographed historic sites, locomotives, and ships.
George Leveque (1929 – 2012) worked as a budget analyst for the City of Richmond and later for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He took up photography as a hobby and set out to finish the project his father started. His wife described Leveque as a “collector of all things,” and said that he particularly loved history. This was a passion project for Leveque, and he never intended to display the images or lecture. The courthouse images feature the facades and in some instances the sides of the buildings. The historic sites he photographed included places like Monticello and Colonial Williamsburg.
Arrangement and access:
The slides are arranged alphabetically in slide boxes. The subjects are also in slide boxes separated by topic. 131 slides of courthouses, 120 slides of historic sites, 20 slides of locomotives, 43 slides of ships, 27 unidentified slides, and 61 photographs of historic sites. Missing counties: Amelia, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Dinwiddie, … more
90 glass slides, 3 x 4 inches, housed in original wooden box
These rare slides, many of which are hand-colored, offer a glimpse into the founding of the Richmond branch of Goodwill Industries by Dr. J. T. Mastin and the Rev. Samuel Coles in 1923, before its eventual merger with Citizens’ Service Exchange. Featured are detailed interior and exterior shots of early Goodwill-related activity, including refurbishment of furniture and clothing, horse-drawn Goodwill wagons, volunteers and patrons, several scenes of prison interiors (presumably in connection with Mastin’s correctional work), and many images unrelated to Richmond, including views of England and South Africa. The Goodwill headquarters featured so prominently in these images stood at 1814 E. Grace Street, only a few yards from the Craig House in Shockoe Bottom, and has since vanished without a trace.
The slides most likely served as a visual aid to educational or religious lectures. Lantern slides, as a technology, were popular in America as early as 1850, yielding “magic” projections of images large enough to be easily visible to large audiences.
The accompanying collection file contains much biographical information about Mastin (1855–1943), a Methodist minister, secretary of the State Board of Charities and Corrections, a native Virginian and, according to one article, “the South’s greatest social worker.”
12 lithographic cards, 2 x 3 inches
The mild pastels of these lithographic novelty cards belie their content, which is uncharacteristically downbeat for Southern wartime images. They feature Dixie caricatures populating scenes of defeat and despair, such as a man in gray—who appears to be lonesome, cold, and hungry—reminiscing about the “good times” of 1861. Most of these “life scenes” are not historically specific. “A Flank Movement” visually puns military action, showing a hungry soldier armed with a stiletto stalking an oblivious pig. “Heroes Still,” apparently a post-War scene, or one anticipating the fruits of pursuing a lost cause, shows humbled white Southerners tilling their own fields. Other scenes include “In a Bad Place,” “First Winter,” “Homesick,” “In the Trenches,” “The Vidette,” “The Camp Darkey,” “Following Stonewall,” and a sea battle captioned “No. 290.” The cards were originally held together into a dainty, homemade fascicle, fashioned from sackcloth, which includes the handwritten title of the collection along with an almost indecipherable name written in pencil: “Hope Stewart.”
Six of the images were reproduced in Cavalcade (winter, 1951).… more