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African American Tourists at Balanced Rock Near Manitou, Colorado, circa 1900

Silver gelatin photograph, 4.5 x 7.625 in., mounted to 6 x 8.875 in., featuring a group of African American tourists posed in front of Balanced Rock in Colorado Springs. Paul Goerke & Son: Manitou, Colorado, n.d., ca 1900. Image number inscribed in the negative: "5875." Imprint on verso advertising prices for duplicates and enlargements. The pictured tourists, all men, are posed atop burros arranged in rows before the large rock formation. 

Now one of the most famous formations in Colorado Springs's Garden of the Gods, Balanced Rock was once owned by the opportunistic Goerke family, including Paul Goerke and his son, Curt Goerke. It is believed that Curt began taking photographs of tourists standing next to the rock when he was a teenager in the 1890s, leading his father to purchase the photogenic formation and the nearby Mushroom Park by the turn of the century. The father-son duo allowed people to tour their scenic property but reserved rights to photograph Balanced Rock, providing burros as props and selling the images as souvenirs. A similar image sold as Lot 149 in Part I of The Road West. 

Condition:

Image with some surface soil and spotting. Mount with spotting and wear to edges and corners including paper loss and lights rips or tears at edges. Verso with penciled collection number/code, caption, and other markings.

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,875
12/03/2020

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