Old Photos: Art Conquers Attica, KS

A recent post on Kansas Travel and my own visit to a gallery this week, where I was chastised by my daughter for not understanding art, reminded me that I had this set of photos from 1955 bookmarked for a long time.

It’s no Paris, but a tiny Kansas farm town grows its own crop of painters.

Up to now Attica, Kan., for all its classical name, could pass for any other tiny town in the wheatlands – a slowdown point on a rural highway leading to Wichita. But today traffic through Attica not only slows down but stops and looks. Encamped with palettes and drawing boards on the sidewalks, along the railroad, in the wheatfields are painters – singly or in bunches – recording the surroundings with the earnest concentration of Paris professionals. The painters are members of the Artists Guild of Attica, a burgeoning group that in course of three years had made the town of 622 people aware, curious and eager about art.

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

© Time Inc.Grey Villet

Small town folks, amused women, at exhibit of paintings of lady artists of the town.© Time Inc.Grey Villet

Local lady artists painting street scene.© Time Inc.Grey Villet

This is Attica today:

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  • CV

    Not bad.

    For me I find all of your posts about old America amusing. I also noticed that a pic or three in this post could of been taken back home in the Motherland.

    Is it homesickness or a deeper search for a place here that reminds you of home.

    Btw, Attica is not the best name to reminisch by if you have been in the States for awhile.

    Check this link out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attica_Prison_riot

    Enjoy, your week.

    • Yeah, I know about the prison riot, but what are you going to do, I didn’t name these things 🙂
      The Motherland didn’t look anything like this, not in the 50’s, not in the 80’s and certainly not now.
      I like these photos because they are really good quality shots, they had to rely on their skills and cameras to do the job, and did it better than most people do now with all the new equipment and editing. I also like that some of these photos are previously unpublished, so there is a little bit of a discovery going on here. Most people who read this weren’t alive at the time, so they may see or learn something new. These are easy posts for me, just a lot of clicking and searching.
      I will have some photos of Russia in the next few weeks. Long time ago I decided to limit myself to the photos of KS, MO and Russian-related to keep up with the theme of the blog.

  • tacitus

    Interestingly, the town has had a net gain in population from 1955 – 2000 (albeit very slight). However, I’m sure brain-drain and widespread agricultural modernization has more than taken it’s toll on this town as compared to 1955, as well. Ah well, it’s “progress” I suppose.

    I wonder when Kansas stopped using license plates on the front of cars?