Travelers in Postwar Europe:
Photographs by H. A. Durfee, Jr., 1951-53

January 20 - June 28, 2015
Wolcott Gallery

H. A. Durfee, Jr., a 1948 graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, spent a long career in obstetrics at what was Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington at the time he joined the medical staff, and today is the University of Vermont Medical Center. In the early 1950s, prior to beginning his career in Vermont, Dr. Durfee practiced at the U.S. Army Airbase in Wiesbaden, Germany. He and his wife Elizabeth took advantage of the assignment, traveling to London, Paris, Venice, and the German countryside when they could find the time. On these travels, Dr. Durfee took with him two German cameras--a Rollicord and a Rolliflex--and between 1951 and 1953 took more than 2,000 black-and-white photographs, capturing the striking architecture, landscapes, monuments, ruins, and the uncannily empty streets of Europe's cities in the aftermath of World War II.

The doctor-photographer developed the negatives, but printed only a select group of the images. The work languished for more than sixty years, until 2014, when Durfee's son, Eleazer, working with Vermont photographer Don Ross, began to print the negatives, first as contact sheets, then as full-size prints, bringing the majority of these extraordinary images to light for the first time.

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by J. Brooks Buxton '56, and the Walter Cerf Exhibitions Fund.