Guadeloupe, Market Scene

Joanna Colcord Collection
Gift of Nina Colcord

Although we do not know exactly when Colcord photographed this market scene on the French island of Guadeloupe, located in the Caribbean, it was likely on the same voyage as the photograph taken of Diamond Rock in Martinique (which lay just over 100 miles to the north). Having spent so much time aboard ship gazing outward at her surroundings throughout her childhood at sea, Colcord would have been used to—literally—taking the long view. Indeed, many of her photographs were taken from locations where she could peer down on a scene and get a sweeping view of her surroundings—in this case, a busy market where natives were selling their wares (foodstuffs, handicrafts, etc.) to locals as well as foreign visitors like she and her family. Time spent studying this photograph will reveal dozens of smaller vignettes and the many behaviors practiced at such a market—hawking, looking, haggling, selling, and buying.