Listen to the Scurlocks talk about their lives, work, and experiences in the studio
An Interview with George Scurlock
George Scurlock, Addison Scurlock's son, worked in the studio with his
father and brother, Robert. George spoke with Archives Center staff members
David Haberstich and Lora Koehler on August 11, 2003. Audio selections of
their conversation with transcriptions are available below*:
Impressions of Addison Scurlock (Click here to listen)
LK: [Asks about impressions of Addison.]
GS: I would describe my father as very intense, in all of his endeavors. Whatever he went into, he went all the way. He read quite a bit; he was quite….he had a lot of drive to him; if he saw something he wanted to explore he would find all means of doing it; he didn’t want to do anything half way…..Photography was his love; he would experiment with processes in photography. He did all from making the photograph to processing it, to printing it, to retouching it; he knew all facets of it, whereas mine was strictly camera work and retouching and I did it inside and outside work. In other words I did the same as he did. When Bobby was in the Service I had to do everything. So for those three or four years I had to do it all….
When Robert returns from WWII and color
here to listen)
GS: When he [Robert] came back from the service, he had some new ideas. He was a pioneer in natural color photography. So he took that and started to move it into the operation of the Studio. He did a very good job of it. Fortunately, we had a few clients that could afford to pay for it. It was quite expensive back there in its early days. So his work I would say it was….this studio that was a lab which was devoted to the processing of color photography.
He was recognized around the city as expert in color photography. He did work for several studios….They turned over color work to him. I still did a lot of the portrait work and he, of course, brought me up to date on exposures and stuff like that for color photography and techniques in lighting that wouldn’t necessarily be true with black and white. So I enjoyed it. It was just like going to another chapter in my life, black and white to color. As far as I got in color photography….There is an example of that right there….It is faded quite a bit. John F. Kennedy. Made at Howard University and he endorsed it to me….I had it re-matted and I am going to try to save his autograph.
*Transcription by John Fleckner, January 4, 2004. [This is a partial transcription; some questions and interjections into George Scurlock’s speech are not fully transcribed. In some places there is incidental talk, also not transcribed. [?] indicates uncertainty about a word. Elipses…indicate pauses in speech, interjections not transcribed, incomplete thoughts, etc.]