Treasure: Found Snapshots

Amateur archaeologist Mark Brown presents his latest discoveries.
by Mark BROWN
 

Dig site: “The Thing,” a junk shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Retail value: Two dollars for the bunch.

Appeal: It’s strange and fascinating, digging through a drawer of other people’s photographs—scrapbooks, photo albums, loose snapshots and the odd headshots of unknown actors. How did they wind up at a tiny junk store? You wonder whether the picture-taker moved and forgot a box in the attic, whether they’re dead and their memories got sold at auction, whether the explanation’s one that isn’t crossing your mind. You find yourself making up stories to explain the image, and asking questions. Did the girl in stockings suggest the photoshoot, or her lover? Did the happy couple stay married? What’s the horse’s name?

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