P0403 Sievers Studio Collection Guide to the Sievers Studio Collection P0403 EAD by Lauren Sallwasser using ArchivesSpace Series Three was processed with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Missouri Historical Society, Photographs and Prints Department 2018 Library and Research Center 225 South Skinker Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63105 email@example.com URL: Material from the 1930s (Series 3) has been processed and is available for research. Processing work on the remainder of the collection is ongoing, and this finding aid will be updated as additional series are processed. This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2018-10-01 06:25:10 -0500 . English Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Missouri Historical Society, Photographs and Prints Department
Sievers Studio Collection
Sievers, Isaac, 1886-1954
Sievers, Alvin Martin, 1920-2012
32.95 Cubic Feet
(112 boxes; 43 linear feet; 10,071 images) (Extent includes processed material only)
Negatives ; Photographs
Processed by Lauren Sallwasser, 2018.
Series Three was processed with a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (www.archives.gov/nhprc).
Collection donated by Al Sievers in 1996 and 2009.
Biographical / Historical
Sievers Commercial Photographers was founded in 1917 by Isaac Sievers as a general commercial studio based in downtown St. Louis. After World War II, Isaac’s son, Alvin, joined the staff and continued to operate the studio under the name Sievers Photographers until its close in 1989. The studio was first located on Chestnut Street and later moved to Washington Avenue. Although Isaac and Al were the primary photographers, the studio employed several other photographers over the years, including Fred Delporte, Uranus Hord, Ed Meyers, and Harold Sneckner.
Isaac Sievers advertised as an all-purpose photographer with the tagline “I photograph anything.” Staying true to that sentiment, the studio handled a wide variety of subjects, including commercial, architectural, and portrait photographs and events such as banquets, conventions, and family celebrations.
Scope and Contents
The Sievers Studio Collection contains the full surviving work of the commercial photography studio Sievers Studio. The collection documents everyday life in a major Midwestern city from the studio’s opening in 1917 through its close in 1989.
Sievers Studio photographed a wide variety of subjects, including corporate groups, large and small businesses, conventions, family events, studio portraits, advertising photographs, new residential and commercial construction, and established residential and commercial areas. Isaac Sievers specialized in panoramic photographs, and much of the studio’s earliest business consisted of panoramas showing groups of servicemen during World War I.
The bulk of the collection consists of negatives, although some prints are also included. Material from each photo shoot was stored together in a single job assignment file, usually including detailed information about client, subject, and date.
Material from the 1930s (Series 3) has been processed and is available for research. Processing work on the remainder of the collection is ongoing, and no other portion of the collection is open for use at this time. Material will become available as it is processed.
Sievers Studio stored all material from a photo shoot together as a single job assignment file, usually including detailed information regarding the date, client, and subject. Material in the collection is arranged according to the job number assigned by Sievers Studio.
The first three series in the collection have been established, and additional series will be created as material is processed. Each subsequent series will represent a separate decade. However, only Series 3: 1930-1939 is fully processed and open for use.
Existing series are:
Series 1: Business Records
Series 2: Panoramas
Series 3: 1930-1939
Conditions Governing Access
No viewing restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. The user assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Some film stored in freezer.
Existence and Location of Copies
Digital copies and item-level records of select images are posted as they are created and can be accessed through the Online Collections on the Missouri Historical Society website http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/140214 .
Digitized images are generated from the original item whenever possible and files are adjusted only to ensure an accurate representation. Master files are saved in TIF format and JPEG viewing files are automatically generated from the master files.
See job file index for complete listing of photo shoots.
Sievers Studio Collection, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
Photographers -- Missouri -- Saint Louis
Series 3: Job Files P0403-S03 1930-1939 Scope and Contents Series three contains material created during the 1930s. As in the collection as a whole, the 1930s material includes a wide variety of clients and subjects. Of special interest in this series are images documenting the Great Depression, including the Hooverville on the St. Louis riverfront, lines of men waiting for work, exterior views of Father Dempsey’s Hotels, fundraisers for the Welcome Inn, and the Welcome Inn splash pool for children. Sievers Studio captured many activities of daily life including family celebrations such as holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and religious rites of passage; events held by churches, synagogues, clubs, and fraternal organizations; banquets and dinners; and funerals. Funeral photographs mostly show open caskets surrounded by large floral arrangements. Of note are photographs showing activities in the Jewish community, including Confirmation classes and other activities at local synagogues, families celebrating Passover Seder, and the visit of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, an influential figure in the development of Reform Judaism and an early leader in the U. S. Zionist movement. Sievers Studio also shot portraits of individuals and groups, both in the studio and on location. These include graduating classes and other school groups; sports teams, including company sponsored teams and school teams; and employees and other business groups. Photographs in this series document growth and change in many businesses and industries, particularly the automobile industry. These photographs show the spread of service stations and repair shops and the activities of prominent St. Louis automobile dealerships, such as the Weber Implement and Automobile Company, L. M. Stewart, Mount City Motors, Arthur R. Lindburg, and Fred F. Vincel, Inc. Photographs also show employees, executives, and vehicles from Chrysler and General Motors. Other business-related photographs show the growth of the film industry and local theaters such as Loew’s State Theatre, Fox Theatre, and others; the alternative products sold by Anheuser-Busch during Prohibition; and Monsanto employees and facilities in the company town of Monsanto, Illinois, later renamed Sauget. In addition, photographs show many smaller businesses such as grocers, clothing stores, shoe stores, bakeries, drugstores, bars, and taverns. Product shots depict the growth of new household appliances such as radios and refrigerators, as well as shoes, clothing, and other consumer goods. Sievers Studio captured many of the physical changes happening to the cityscape in the 1930s, particularly the development of new residential areas in south St. Louis City, including St. Louis Hills, as well as in the inner-ring suburbs surrounding the city of St. Louis. Photographs also show new downtown buildings, including the Municipal Auditorium (later renamed Kiel Auditorium) and the construction of the U. S. Court and Custom House. In addition, street views and other architectural photographs taken throughout St. Louis City and St. Louis County show a variety of established residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Sievers Studio also specialized in photographing large exhibitions and conventions and in taking photographs for insurance purposes. Exhibitions and conventions include car shows; fraternity and sorority conventions; professional conventions; and the Greater St. Louis Flower Show. These photographs often show group portraits of attendees, as well as exhibit booths and banquets. Insurance photographs often show damage resulting from automobile accidents. Also of note in this series are photographs showing visiting celebrities, including Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Betty Grable, and Helen Kane. Many of the celebrities were film, radio, or vaudeville stars. To browse catalog records and digitized images from this series visit our Online Collections: http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/411139