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Beautiful Portraits Reveal An Unseen Side To History

Rare Collection | July 16, 2021

Written by Jacob Shelton

History can only tell one story when it's in black and white, but when it's in color it's as if the past is the present and you're living in it. The following rare photos have been colorized to tell stories that you won't find in history books and to give greater context for important moments in the past.

You may think that you know the stories behind these hard to find photos, but if you look closer you'll find a story behind the story.

From true tales of the Wild West to fascinating stories of humans going above and beyond the call of duty to take care of their fellow man, these photos that have been colorized for the first time will not only inform and entertain... they'll make you feel like you're right there in the story.

Read on and see how colorized photos don't just change history... they make it.  

Portrait of Marilyn Monroe taken by Richard Avedon, considered by some to be the most honest picture of her ever taken

source: Richard Avedon/MoMA

Marilyn Monroe was always in the spotlight. Everything she did, said, and wore was put under a microscope by the press from the moment that she became a star. That kind of scrutiny would be a nightmare for anyone, but for someone as introverted as Monroe it was a terrible burden.

In one of her final interviews Monroe explained that she (and many of her fellow actors) are incredibly shy once the camera stops rolling:

A struggle with shyness is in every actor more than anyone can imagine. There is a censor inside us that says to what degree do we let go, like a child playing. I guess people think we just go out there, and you know, that's all we do. Just do it. But it's a real struggle. I'm one of the world's most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.

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Jacob Shelton

Writer

Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.