Two women standing behind a lunch counter

Two women standing behind a lunch counter

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Description (Brief)
Gelatin silver print, panorama. Signed, dated, titled on verso. Two women standing behind a lunch counter. Woman on left is standing next to the fryer. Woman on the right has her hand in a bag. Both have beehive hairstyles. Signs on the walls of the lunch counter advertise for Coca-cola, Pepsi, Coors, Miller. There is a Heineken fan. The chairs in front of the counter are wire-framed with a heart-shaped back.
The Anne Noggle collection in the Photographic History Collection consists of four panoramic photographs signed and dated between 1969 and 1972. The subjects are: a neighborhood group, an elderly woman in a kitchen, a row of thirty-three mailboxes and two waitresses behind a lunch counter. The negatives were made using a Panon 35mm camera.
Anne Noggle was born in 1922 in Evanston, IL and spent her formative years living there with her mother and sister—two women who would become important characters in Noggle’s photography.
Prior to her photography career, Noggle led a markedly different life. In 1940, with her student pilot license in hand, she became a pilot and eventually a flight instructor as a Women’s Air Force Service Pilot (WASP) in World War II. At the conclusion of the war, Noggle taught flying, joined an aerial circus and worked as a crop duster. Art garnered Noggle’s attention while she was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Stationed in Paris, she spent much of her free time at the Louvre. Forced into early retirement due to emphysema caused by crop dusting, Noggle registered for college as an art history major at the University of New Mexico in 1959, at the age of thirty-eight.
Anne Noggle’s early photographs utilize the 35mm Panon camera. Most of these 140° photographs are of an aging woman and her surroundings. In Janice Zita Grover’s introduction to Silver Lining: Photographs by Anne Noggle, she writes that the panoramic format is characteristic “to distort space in such a way that subjects distant from the lens appear flattened against deep space; between this effect and the necessity for reading the image side to side, the format gets as close as the still camera can to the implied narrative unfolding of a panoramic opening shot in a film.”
By the early 1970s, however, Noggle moved on to wide-angle portraits featuring herself, her mother, sister and her mother’s friends. It is for these photographs that Noggle is most known. Her interest in women and the aging process is exemplified by self-portraits of Noggle’s own face-lifts and images of her aging body.
Noggle has been awarded two NEA grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Object Name
photograph, panorama
date made
Noggle, Anne
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 18.9 cm x 35.3 cm; 7 7/16 in x 13 7/8 in
image: 13 cm x 31.5 cm; 5 1/8 in x 12 13/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Anne Noggle
See more items in
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Anne Noggle Collection
Photo History Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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