Facebook Connects 50’s Travelers To Future Art Exhibit

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – When Jeff Phillips bought a box of old slides at a garage sale, he had no idea the adventure he’d begun.

“They’re all composed similarly and that alone kind of raised the flag and peaked my interest as to what this photographer was doing.” said Photographer Jeff Phillips.

Turns out it was a husband and wife traveling all over the world in the 1950’s and photographing each other along the way and they followed these strict rules of composition in most cases. Phillips, a Chicago based photographer, filled in the frames with his own theories. But, when he took his one thousand abandoned slides to facebook, he found some answers.

“I started posting one image per day on Facebook and created a site called “Is this your Mother.” I invited a few friends and let it be.” said Jeff Phillips.

He thought it’d take five years for an answer, instead it was just three weeks.

“There’s pictures that show them in the state of Alaska in 1959 when it became the 49th state. So how adventursome is that. I had no idea that my great aunt and uncle were just absolutely right out there on the edge doing some cool things in the 50’s.” said Harry & Edna’s Great Niece Carol Felzien.

It was an online search party that discovered the identity of Harry and Edna Grossman, formerly of Frontenac. Not only did social media solve the mystery of who Harry and Edna really were, but when it came time to decided which photos to use for this exhibit Jeff turned to his Facebook fans and let the internet decide.

For his unique exhibit that opens tomorrow at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Phillips is including the posts from perfect strangers who had their own interpretations of these pictures.

“It’s phenomenal to see what people thought was going on in these photos versus when we found the truth later.” said Photographer Jeff Phillips.

Which is entertaining for Edna and Harry’s real life family.

“And really Jeff is giving them an opportunity to continue to travel. So I can’t wait to see where they go next.” said Harry & Edna’s Great Niece Carol Felzien.

The adventure continues for this couple that were lost and found again.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News