The first image, Burgess & Seymour, a study in black and white, depicts two Canadian Kodak employees, one identified as draftsman F.A. Seymour and the other as R. Ainslee Burgess. They performed a skit originally performed in the Canadian Kodak Minstrel Show of February 17-18, 1921, which was, according to an included clipping, repeated at a bazaar held by the Toronto Technical School. The skit consists two easels, on which the two performers have drawn sketches of different Kodak girls. One of the performers (Burgess) is in blackface, as part of the Minstrel variety show performed occasionally during the 1920's by Kodak employees as part of the Kodak Athletics Association (KAA) activities.
The second image is a group portrait of the Kodak minstrel troupe consisting of 29 men in black face and their accompanying 7 musicians and conductor. They performed at the same event as Burgess and Seymour, February 1921.
Minstrel shows are style of variety show, most popular during the late 19th and early 20th century, in which white performers use make-up and costumes to depict stereotyped caricatures of southern African Americans. The genre originated in the United States, but Canada had its own troupes and touring companies, and the format was popular with schools, community groups, and religious organizations.
Kodak Canada Inc.