Picturing the Catskills: The Photography of Bob Wyer, 1938 - 1978
A new book is now available from the Delaware County Historical Association. Picturing the Catskills: The Photography of Bob Wyer, 1938 – 1978 features over 150 pages of photos taken by this Delaware County photographer. Taken together the images create a marvelous visual history of mid-twentieth century life here in the mountains.
Born in New Jersey in 1908, Robert Seldon Wyer moved with his family to Delhi as a young child. In the early 1930s, Bob began working for his father, then the owner-editor of the Delaware Express, a weekly newspaper based in Delhi. Shortly afterwards, he found work as a writer for the Walton Reporter and for the Oneonta Star. In 1936 Wyer began his photography career for the Star.
From the late 1930s on Wyer covered Delaware County, not only as a roving newspaper correspondent, but on assignment from local insurance companies. Thus his ever-increasing portfolio came to include images of buildings – houses, barns, commercial structures, etc. An additional aspect of his early years as a professional photographer was his association with local police departments, many of whom came to rely on Bob for images of crime scenes and auto accidents. Beginning in the 1940s, Bob and his wife Billie expanded their work to include studio shots of local people. Thus, thousands of images were created for hunting and chauffeur licenses, passports, etc. Many local residents will remember the Wyers taking pictures of groups of school children and images of individual high school graduates.
In 1979, Bob and Billie retired from their studio work. The couple sold their equipment and donated their collection of over 150,000 negatives to the Delaware County Historical Association, where it is still safely archived today.
Picturing the Catskills: The Photography of Bob Wyer, 1938 – 1978 is a great gift for the holidays! Retail price $20.00.