~ Dance Study ca. 1912. For years, I kept a postcard of this image and today discover, it is most likely of a member of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes from when the Nijinsky ballet L’après-midi d’un faun was presented in Paris in 1912.
Another of de Meyer’s photos, called “Dolores - Follies + frolics,” dated 1918, is here:
And the lovely contrasting “From the Shores of the Bosphorus:”
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay. Love how her knees disappear off the bed. And her claw of a hand, how it’s extended.
I typed out a letter she wrote back home, which I found in Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford. It’s early in Millay’s career, and though she’s published Renascence at the time of this letter, she’s still at Vassar, on the graces of scholarships and other support. She’s grown up poor in Maine with her two younger sisters, no father, rarely a mother—and no comforts, which makes the letter all the more delicious. It is written from the home of a Mrs. Thompson who has invited Millay to stay with her for three weeks so that Millay can write and not worry about rent or other living expenses.
“It is eleven o’clock in the morning. I am still in bed. At nine o’clock Anna, my personal maid—(for all I ever see her doing for anyone else) awakened me with my breakfast. She came in with the tray—silver coffee-things, & fruit, & bacon and an egg—(God forgive me if you are even now hungry!—I will send you five no, one dollar I wish I could send ten)—and little sticks of toast rolled up in an embroidered napkin, & a vase of hot-house flowers. This she set down on the bed. Then she closed the windows, saw that the register was open, brought me my negligee & helped me into it, propped pillows behind my back, brought two hair-pins from the bureau for me to pin back my hair with, put my cigarette-case, holder, & matches within easy reach—all this without a word from me except Good-morning—then asked if there were anything I would like, & left me, softely closing the door behind her.—I swear to you I am not inventing a word of it; & that is the way it happens every morning!”
~ photos by Thomas Longo. His Flickr stream is here.
Dr. Kurt Lisso, Leipzig’s city treasurer, and his wife and daughter after taking
poison to avoid surrender to U.S. troops, Leipzig, Germany. 1945.
Bread Line during the Louisville flood, Kentucky. 1937.
Eskimo. At Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territory, Canada. 1937.
Cocktails on Gorky Street, Moscow. 1941.
Margaret Bourke-White. June 14, 1904 – August 27, 1971.
Have reached MBW’s entry in my A - Z pass through Wikipedia’s Women Photographers. Now I see MBW was a master — forcing herself to look, bear witness — and altogether known for, among other things, her Time/Life photography (she was hired by Henry Luce as their first female photographer in 1936). And she was known for her WWII images from Buchenwald, and her coverage of the India-Pakistan partition. But I would not have been able to name her as the shooter of these and other iconic images. Kind of like my watching The Godfather for the first time at 42: How lucky I was to be seeing something so magnificent with fresh eyes at that age.
She was born 107 years ago last month.
Here’s where I found her stuff.
This photo is from a gritty story by Christoher Cappoziello, about the photographer’s twin brother, who suffers from cerebral palsy. It had me forgetting to breathe. You wonder at your own weaknesses and inevitable ignorance.
Cappoziello is the winner of the National Press Photographers Association’s 2011 Best of Photojournalism award.
If you click on the NPPA link it’ll take you to the rest of the story.
~ Alice Boughton (1865-1943).
~ Alice Boughton (1865-1943). Going through Wikipedia’s Women Photographers list A-Z, and have come to the wonders of Alice Boughton. Her entry in the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th Ed. is below.
BOUGHTON, ALICE (1865-1943) American
Trained in Gertrude Kasebier’s studio. Highly regarded portraitist known for her illustrative and romantic images, often celebrating the beauty of young women. Member of Photo-Secession. Exhibited at 291 and published in Camera Work (1909). She wrote that good portrait photographers must have tact, social instinct, and infinite patience. Her book, Photographing the Famous (1928), included portraits of notables such as Maxim Gorky, Henry James, and William Butler Yeats.
Gertrude Kasebier - I posted some here, but she was a heavy and worth looking at further than what I’ve got.
Photo-Secession - The Stieglitz-led push to make photographs that could stand on their own as works of art composition-wise, light-wise, feeling-wise—even to the extent of manipulating the texture of the photos. More here.
Camera Work is Alfred Stieglitz’s magazine whose aim was to elevate photography to a fine art on par with painting and the like. Done, Alfred!
291 was Stieglitz’ gallery in Manhattan at 291 Fifth Avenue.
Photographing the Famous - cannot find this online which makes me lust a bit more for it.
“All my writings may be considered tasks imposed from within; their source was a fateful compulsion. What I wrote were things that assailed me from within myself. I permitted the spirit that moved me to speak out.” —C. G. Jung
~ Ilse Bing, ‘Me in the mirror with Leica,’ 1931 (taken) 1992 (print).
Ilsa (1899-1998) is my second entry of artists from Wikipedia’s “Women Photographers” category. I’m going through it alphabetically and posting what I like. (Anna Atkins was the first post I did for this.)
Ilsa was known as the Queen of the Leica because during the 30s, she was apparently the only photographer in Paris shooting exclusively with the Leica. I like to imagine her standing there in a dress, with a Leica, and this serious lovely face you see, figuring out light and angle.
Read a nice obit here, whose last line grabbed me: “Ms. Bing was, Ms. Whitson said, ”very sharp, very funny and very active — she took up the motorcycle when she was in her 70’s.’”
~ Ilse Bing, Three men on steps by the Seine, Paris, 1931
~ Ilse Bing, Barber College, 1936.