Alfonso Casasola, a member of a famous family of Mexican photographers, came to El Paso in the 1920s after several years in the Mexican consular service. He established the Casasola Studio (also known by its Spanish name, Estudio Casasola) at 511 S. El Paso Street and was active in many civic organizations. He died on February 17, 1948 at the age of 59, but his wife, Emma Flores Casasola, continued the studio for many years. The University of Texas at El Paso thanks Estrellita Casasola for permission to use and display these photographs from the early days of the Casasola Studio.
Most of the photographs in this collection are from the early work of the Casasola Photograph Studio. Since Mr. Alfonso Casasola died in 1948, work by other photographers is also included in this collection. Casasola Studios employed many young photographers over the years, several of whom went on to start their own studios. For instance, Mr. José Andow started as an apprentice while still a teenager, and worked for Mr. Casasola both before and after his service in World War II.
The collection contains over 2500 images. This is a selection of all identified photos and is arranged in the following categories:
Photographs of children are among the most appealing of the pictures in the Casasola collection. The black-and-white photographs were often hand-colored to make the children’s lips and cheeks rosy, and sometimes to emphasize their charming costumes.
Includes many glamorous poses, and most of the prints that survived were hand-colored.
Includes some very young men, and others who look older and very dignified. Few prints survived in the collection, but there are many negatives.
Includes families, business or school groups, or couples.
Two kinds of subjects that Mr. Casasola identified. These were usually bundled by ranges of dates.
Children often posed as if in prayer with religious statues or candles, and sometimes they posed with a parent or sibling.
Includes portraits of brides, couples and entire wedding parties.
Other categories not represented in the surviving prints are “Pasaportes”–photographs taken for identity cards–and “Braceros”–for worker identification cards. Small negatives taken at the Casasola Studio because of its proximity to the bridges and consulate.