The Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection

Few photographers captured the allure and promise of Florida like Joseph Janney Steinmetz. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1905, Steinmetz came to Florida in 1941. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy developing techniques for aerial reconnaissance photography.

Steinmetz at his studio: Sarasota (May 5, 1948)

Steinmetz at his studio: Sarasota (May 5, 1948)

After moving to Florida, Steinmetz found regular work with the Florida Development Commission, a promotional agency of the Florida state government. He also operated an independent photography studio in Sarasota.

Seminole family selling patchwork clothing near the Brighton Reservation (January 27, 1948)

Seminole family selling patchwork clothing near the Brighton Reservation (January 27, 1948)

Over the course of his career, Steinmetz’s images appeared in numerous publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier’s, and Town and Country. Although his favorite subject was the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Steinmetz captured a variety of subjects ranging from weddings to Tupperware parties to the Florida Seminoles.

Ringling Brothers Circus clown Emmett Kelly enjoying a bath

Ringling Brothers Circus clown Emmett Kelly enjoying a bath

Visit Florida Memory to learn more about Joseph Janney Steinmetz and to view photographs from his wonderful collection.

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