From the officials and transients sailing to Alaska on the BIA ship North Star, to the Colonists going about their daily chores in their tent homes, and later in their cabins, this book shares the linear history of the first six months of the Matanuska Colony, as seen through the camera lens of Willis T. Geisman, the official photographer for the Matanuska Colony Project. Geisman documented every aspect of the venture, from officials posing stiffly for portraits to his fellow journalists filming the Colony families, from truckloads of transient workers setting off for their day’s labor to a farmer and his son hauling water down a dusty dirt road. These photographs tell the true stories, moments in time captured and preserved, children laughing, women working, men building futures for their families.Willis T. Geisman’s documentation of the 1935 Matanuska Colony project was a monumental achievement, and has become the most frequently referenced work on that part of Alaska’s history. Geisman’s compelling photographs have appeared in hundreds of books, magazines, news articles, on television, and in films, and now this book brings some of his most compelling images together.
Willis T. Geisman’s photographs played a major role in the award-winning 2008 documentary, Alaska Far Away, and they were lauded by Valley historian Jim Fox, author of The First Summer: “Geisman’s work is of tremendous importance in its documentation of the Colony’s history and its technical skill, artistic and documentary style.”The Matanuska Colony Album, 149 pages, ISBN 978-0-9843977-9-2 $20.00 plus $4.00 shipping
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