rico2I am so sorry I found out about the great I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture exhibition at New York’s Ricco/Maresca Gallery too late, as it looks like just the type of thing that I love.

The exhibition presented more than 250 metal framed employee I.D. badges from roughly the Great Depression 1930’s to the Post-War 1950’s. It is amazing how such an everyday item when collected and placed together can be transformed into a work or art and a cultural history of our society.

Although the exhibition has closed, lucky for us the collection can be viewed on Ricco/Maresca Gallery’s Past Exhibition site – just look for the I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture box, click on it and you will see a nice slide show of the some of the exhibition’s pieces.

rico1About the I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture exhibition at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery: “Ricco/Maresca Gallery is pleased to present I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture. The beginnings of photography were often marked by portraiture, providing a true likeness of an individual for the first time. This collection of 250 photo identification badges, manufactured between the 1930s and early 1950s, constitutes a collective portrait of the American worker. These vintage badges, from a possibly simpler time, were all that was necessary to prove one’s authentic self and place in society.”

Just when I thought my days of finding something cool to collect were over I find vintage I.D. badges. I now want to search the flea markets, yard sales and auctions for gems like these little pieces of our history.

Who needs these stinkin’ badges? I do!

Find the I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture and other past Ricco/Maresca Gallery exhibitions here.

Learn more about the Ricco/Maresca Gallery here.

See a nice presentation of the I.D. Photo Badge Portraiture collection on Time magazine’s Lightbox here.