Kiplinger Collection

William Edmund Barrett

HSW Collection
John P. Wymer

Emil A. Press

Garnet Wolesey Jex

Vanishing Washington

In the early 1950s Willard Kiplinger observed the changing streetscapes in Washington as older buildings were being torn down and replaced with modern architecture. Kiplinger began commissioning local artists to capture the sites and scenes before they disappeared. The collection of watercolors, drawings and photographs dating from 1950-1970 became known as the Vanishing Washington project. Local painters represented in the collection include John Byrans, Leo Hershfield, Paul Hoffmaster, Audrey (Preissler) Roll, Caroline Bean and Lily Spandorf.  

The extensive William Barrett photography collection consists of 931 images from the early 1950s through the late 1960s. It documents the architecture and street scenes of Washington with an emphasis on historic landmarks and buildings threatened to be demolished. Together with the Historical Society’s existing Wymer, Press, and Jex photography collections they offer a comprehensive resource on the built environment of Washington during the 20th century.