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Photo-Art Commercial Studios (Portland, Or.)
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Photo Art Commercial Studio photographs

  • Org. Lot 791 - 1944
  • Collection
  • 1944

The Photo Art Commercial Studio Collection represents the work of one of Portland’s premiere commercial photography firms. The collection consists of hundreds of thousands of negatives, plus prints, slides, and film footage, from 1936 to 1998. This exceptional collection is rich in Northwest scenic views, portraits, photographs of community events and organizations, and business products and operations. Prominent Northwest photographers, such as Ray Atkeson, photographed for the studio.

Photo Art Studios was opened in 1925 by Claude F. Palmer who had operated a small photo studio as a teenager. Photo Art began as a photofinishing operation, expanding in later years to commercial and advertising photography, motion pictures, and photo murals. In 1959, John Patterson, an Oregonian who was studying photography, joined the staff of Photo Art. In 1965, Patterson became a partner in the business with Claude Palmer; Patterson assumed full ownership in 1978 after Palmer’s retirement.

Palmer, Claude F., 1899-1991

Columbia Steel Casting Company

This series contains photographs of steelworkers and equipment detailing the steel casting process used for making large steel components for Liberty Ships constructed in Portland (Or.) area shipyards during World War II.

Atkeson, Ray

Oral History Interview with Fred G. Meyer

Fred Meyer discusses: Settling in Portland and significance of the location; the early days; growth of the Fred Meyer Corporation; death of Mrs. Meyer; Fred Meyer goes public; industrial growth; business philosophies; costs and wages; 1970s inflation; bankruptcy of other business; TriMet taxation; historical figures admired by Fred Meyer; Supreme Court case about unfair competition; government controls; future of Portland as a major city. Also includes black and white photograph of Fred Meyer, taken at Photo Art Commercial Studio in Portland, Oregon.

Meyer, Fred G., 1886-1978