For years, my search of the website of the US Library of Congress (LOC), yielded one tiny digitized thumbnail 1956 photo of Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957), shown below. But the results of my most recent search gave me a big surprise! I came across several digitized photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family that were taken in 1973/4 and 1984 by Bernard Gotfryd (see his profile at end of piece). He had gifted his vast collection of thousands of prints, negatives and slides to the Library.
The LOC collection of precious and historical photographs dating back to the 19th century, sourced from numerous photographers as well as private collections, is very impressive. Barakah and its sister websites Simerg and Simergphotos have over the years reproduced photos from the LOC that we felt would be of interest to our readers. Of particular interest is an entire post in Simerg dedicated to Mawlana Sultan Mahomed Shah’s historic visit to the USA in 1907. Very little was known to us about the visit, until our research discovered historical American newspapers that reported on the visit.
I must admit that the reports produced more than 110 years ago were very impressive in terms of the accuracy of historical facts pertaining to the late Imam as well as Ismaili history. I invite those who haven’t read the piece to click on Aga Khan’s Incognito Visit to the USA in 1906-07. Another impressive post that we published more recently was again from the LOC archives of historical American newspapers, in which The Emporia News dated April 10, 1874, published a superb account of a double wedding that took place in the family of the 46th Imam, Mawlana Shah Hasan Aly Shah (Read ARTICLE).
Please enjoy Bernard Gotfryd’s small collection of photos of Mawlana Hazar Imam and his family that are posted on this page. While Princess Yasmin’s photos are from a fund raising event held in New York City in 1984 for Alzheimer’s, a cause she has passionately dedicated to for many decades in memory of her mother Rita Hayworth (1918-1987), the details of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit are missing except that the photos were taken in 1973/74.
Date posted: May 31, 2021.
This website, Barakah, is a special project by http://www.Simerg.com and is dedicated to the textual and visual celebration of His Highness the Aga Khan, members of his family and the Ismaili Imamat. Before departing this website please take a moment to visit Barakah’s Home Page with links to more than 250 thoughtful articles, photo essays and tributes to Mawlana Hazar Imam.
About Bernard Gotfryd (1924-2016): Born to Jewish parents in Poland in 1924, Bernard Gotfryd began his photography career shortly after the outbreak of World War II doing studio work as an apprentice photographer. His involvement in activities aiding the Polish resistance resulted in his capture by the Nazis in 1943. He would endure imprisonments in six concentration camps before being liberated in 1945. Several years later, he immigrated to the United States and soon after was drafted into the U.S. Army with an assignment to the Signal Corps where he served as a combat photographer. He became a photojournalist for Newsweek in 1957 and spent the next thirty years covering stories about prominent people in the arts, letters, and politics as well as national and international events. Gotfryd died in 2016 at the age of 92. Bernard Gotfryd’s vast collection of photos at the LOC cover national and some international news stories featuring prominent people and events from 1960 to the early 1990s. Gotfryd captures his subjects in formal portraits, at events, or in activities associated with their careers. Coverage of news stories is broad with a focus on cultural and social events in the United States, particularly in New York City (Read LOC’s notes on Bernard Gotfryd).