They say that Odesa never really changes, it just looks different over time. So join us on this visual journey back in time to the interwar period during the Soviet occupation...
Branson DeCou was an American traveler and photographer who traveled around the world for thirty years with his wife, also a noted photographer. In 1933, he visited Odesa and took some black-and-white photographs, then had them hand-painted by artists.
Getting his start in 1915 during a visit to the San Francisco World's Fair, where he shot a series of successful evening photographs that were picked up for publication by the company Underwood & Underwood. This success encouraged him so he begins to travel with a camera.
Returning, he gave lectures about his travels, using a projector to show off his approximately 150 glass photographic plates that he had hand-painted with Aniline dyes by American artists, presented to synchronized musical compositions. DeCou traveled most of the USA with his music photo show with his performances, which he called "Dream Pictures" and presented them as "an exciting new kind of entertainment", which was very popular with the audiences of the day!
In 1930, he visited the USSR and made several interesting photo series of Moscow and Leningrad, and on a visit in 1932 in Moscow, he was briefly arrested for suspicious filming in the city center, showing not much has changed. Not long after, in March of 1932, he married Elsie Vera Stanley, with whom he traveled and gave photo lectures. During long performances, designed for several days, they alternated giving the presentations, every other day.
Then, in 1933, he came to shoot the south of the country - Odesa! These 3x4" transparencies were also been colorized... come with us as we stroll the Odesa of days gone by... the city that never really changes!