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Looking Through the Lens of Nadia Strid


Titus Blade Steel
Aid to Depandent Children
Orange Mound School
Orange Mound and Physical Education
Passing Time
Going Visiting

Nadia Price with Titus Steel, late 1960s

Nadia Strid’s Recognition. . . .

One great photographer who has captured brilliant and spectacular images of rural southern African-American life was Nadia Strid. Marsha Allen, an editor at the Jonesboro Sun Newspaper, wrote the article "Photography: Retired Photographer Nadia Strid Honored with Exhibit at ASU, Jonesboro." Allen’s article details Nadia Strid’s career. Nadia Strid was one of Memphis, Tennessee most successful and professional photographers of all times. Nadia Strid entered into the profession of photography in 1939, as a student of Avery N. Stratton of Memphis Tennessee, and retried in 1975.

Nadia Strid captured extraordinary images using of a Hasselbald camera. The Victor Hasselbald Company of Sweden manufactured this camera in 1948. The Hasselbald camera was one of the most significant post-war cameras developed as a single lens reflex camera. The Hasselbald Company made it feasible to interchange lenses and with a removable back. The interchangeable film magazine was the Hasselbalds most important feature. The film was quicker to attach and remove due to the detachable roll holder. Nadia Strids used either the Carl Zeiss Sonar 250mm lens or the Kodak Ektar 135mm lens. These two lenses were used for good selections for photographing in either studio or outdoors.

Strid captured over 600 depictions of human-interest selections. The majority of her human-interest shots were taken in the southern states including Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. She truly placed great emphases on capturing the experiences of African-Americans. Her photography chronicled the lives and events of the African- American community in the surrounding Memphis area. Nadia Strid’s recognition for her work came years after her retirement.

The National Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) awarded Nadia Strid first place, in the multi-media category, for her painting of sixteen American women who was successful in shaping American culture. Strid’s black and white collection, which spans from 1930 to 1960 in currently housed in Jonesboro, Arkansas at Arkansas State University (ASU) Museum, after waiting years for grant to display her work. Previous attempts have been made by Strid to have her work publish and displayed.

During the 1960s after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., her photos did not grasp the attention of anyone. Nadia Strid’s attempted to get her photo publish in New York, was bad timing. The company had already selected similar photos, which had gone to press for publication. She also tried to publish, exhibit the lives, and events occurring in the Deltas rich history and her African-Americans chronicle photos; however never had the right timing. Some of Nadia Strid’s work was sent to Mississippi State University for possible display and publication. For over 12 years up into the 1980s, the photos were awaiting grant funding. Arkansas State University received two grants in November 2000 to put Strid’s photographs on display. Along with the display, Strid photos were published on January 21, 2001 in A Delta Era Gone By, authored by Nadia Price Bates Strid. Strid’s photos were shown in the main gallery of the ASU museum. The exhibit was Nadia Strid’s human-interest perspective photographs taken during the 1930s to 1960s. Thanks to the Arkansas Humanities Council, ASU has comprised Nadia Strid exhibit into a traveling display.

This website will briefly display a glimpse of Nadia Strid black and white collection of human-interest photos, focusing on children. These photos are currently being housed in Strids collection at ASU Museum.

Special thanks to Dr. William Allen, Brenda Keech, James "Kimo" Tichgelaar and the ASU Museum for the use of Nadia Strids photos, articles, and interviews.

Clicking some of the photos may open larger sizes.