Someday My Prints Will Come - The Disfarmer Discovery
After Disfarmer's death in 1959, retired Army engineer Joe Albright bought the Disfarmer studio, including its contents, from estate executors.
As he and his sons picked through the abandoned studio, they found thousands of dollars hidden away in film plate boxes.
The true bonanza, however, was the discovery of more than 3,000 glass plate negatives.
Having an interest in photography, Albright carefully stored the negatives in his basement hoping one day to "do something with them."
In 1974, professional photographer Peter Miller and his wife moved to Heber Springs to publish a weekly newspaper, The Arkansas Sun. When The Sun ran a new main page feature, "Some Day My Prints Will Come," featuring old family photographs submitted by readers, Albright submitted some of Disfarmer's work.
Recognizing the unique artistry of the Disfarmer photographs, Miller purchased the collection of negatives from Albright, published the portraits
for a year in The Sun, and forwarded copies to Julia Scully, editor of 'Modern Photography' magazine. From her initial viewing of the
photographs, Scully recognized the unique qualities of the photographs and since then has worked to bring Disfarmer's portraits into public view.
The Heber Springs Portraits
Scully worked with Miller and the Addison House to publish the first book of Disfarmer's work, Disfarmer, the Heber Springs Portraits 1939-1946. Reviewers embraced the work as "... one of the most significant bodies of work in the history of portraiture."
Disfarmer's unique portraits are included in the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
The Arkansas Arts Center Museum and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Disfarmer's work has also been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe and the United States.
Nothing speaks more eloquently about Disfarmer's artistry than the photographs themselves. His genius was the ability to capture without judgment, the essence of a people and a time.