The Beautiful Look of Italy in the Early 1980’s


The Look of Italy in the Early 1980’s


Photographer Charles H. Traub was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1945. He studied English literature at the University of Illinois and joined the Peace Corps after graduation in 1967. An accident in Ethiopia forced him home to Kentucky where he met Ralph Eugene Meatyard, who became an important inspiration and friend. After service in the United States Army in 1969, he decided to pursue photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Traub’s first major body of work in color, Street Portraits, began in 1976, continued after his move to New York City shortly thereafter, and culminated in the book Lunchtime. His move to New York was followed by his first solo exhibition of photographs at the Light Gallery.


After leaving the gallery in 1980 Traub continued his personal work and formed the Wayfarer partnership with Jerry Gordon—a specialized editorial and corporate photography agency. Their work was featured in many magazines, including Life, Time, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, New York and Avenue as well as annual reports for Fortune 500 companies. Throughout the 1980s Traub traveled to Italy, Brazil, Haiti, Morocco and the Far East for his personal work.

Dolce Via is the collection of photographs he took in Italy during that period. He focused his attention on everyday life throughout the winding and often times narrow streets, trying to capture the essence of Italy during that period. His visual journey took him from Milan to Marsala. Traub’s brilliant blues, reds, and yellows accent the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people. Ever wondered how the country looked like some more than 30 years ago? Here’s your chance to take a quick glimpse into the past.

Now it’s up to you to spot the differences between what was and what is, in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

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