The Kodak Colorama: The Stories Behind the Pictures on WXXI-TV

The Kodak Colorama: The Stories Behind the Pictures on WXXI-TV

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 8:00pm


Credit: Jim Pond, © Kodak

What had started as an advertisement for color film evolved into an American tradition for more than 40 years.

WXXI honors the 60th anniversary of the Kodak Colorama — the gigantic panoramic images that showcased at Grand Central Terminal from 1950 to 1990 — with a special broadcast, The Kodak Colorama: The Stories Behind the Pictures, airing Monday, September 13 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The film invites the audience to meet the creative team behind the Colorama and learn more about the process. Kodak professional photographer Steve Kelly, who created several Coloramas and co-produced the film, will be in WXXI's studio to share stories about creating these 18 feet by 60 feet backlit color transparencies. He'll be joined by George Eastman House's curator of photographs Dr. Alison Nordström, who will talk about the history of Colorama and about Eastman House's Colorama exhibition at the museum through October 17, 2010.

In May 1950 the first Kodak Colorama was installed in New York's Grand Central Station. The gigantic images presented an idealized and panoramic view of life in 20th-century America that reflected and reinforced traditional American values and aspirations while simultaneously promoting photography as an essential leisure activity.

From a Fairport little league team to a Scottsville swimming hole, a trail ride in Wyoming to an autumn day in the Adirondacks, NASA's landing on the moon to those famous 15 babies, Coloramas presented a photo album of American scenes, lifestyles, and achievements. While most of the photographers of the close to 600 displayed Coloramas were from Rochester, famed photographer Ansel Adams shot several, and legendary American painter Norman Rockwell once served as artistic director. And, while many of the pictures became world famous, the artists, technicians and photographers were largely unknown to the public.

Eastman Kodak Company staff photographer Steve Kelly and DeBergerac Productions co-owner Mike Champlin joined forces to create this documentary. With unprecedented access to the photographic archives of Eastman Kodak and the creative team themselves, the producers reveals the inspirations, the struggles and the achievements, behind the "World's Largest Color Transparency."

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Please show again

Please consider showing this program again! I missed it! This is such a great show at the Eastman House, amazing to think these were created every 3 weeks right in Rochester and put up in one of the busiest places in NYC. Thank you!