This month's gallery features 11 photographs taken during the mid-1950s by
Haynes S. Ragas, Jr. These photos were
chosen from over a thousand negatives that make up the Ragas
Collection. The majority of the photographs record New Orleans Recreation Department events, but the
collection also contains a small number of negatives of more general subjects.
Haynes S. Ragas, Jr., a native New Orleanian, was born in 1928. He first learned photography while
serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his discharge, he returned to New Orleans and built a
darkroom behind his parents' home on Dauphine St. and set up Haynes S. Ragas Jr. Photography. Later,
after he married, he and his wife built a new studio and darkroom at their new home on Baccich St. During
these years, Mr. Ragas took photographs for the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD), worked as
a freelance photographer for the New Orleans Item, and also took wedding photographs. The
demands of a growing family, the demise of the Item, and a move to Metairie, where zoning laws did
not allow a photography studio, eventually forced Mr. Ragas to abandon photography as a full-time
profession. He became a top salesman for several New Orleans companies and later worked in the Third
District Assessor's Office, and he continued to take photographs as an avocation. Mr. Ragas died in 1998.