March 18, 2018

30 Black and White Photographs of Gala and Salvador Dalí From Between the 1930s and 1960s

“I love her more than my mother, more than my father, more than Picasso, and even more than money.” – Salvador Dali
There has always been a great woman behind every great man. For a French painter Salvador Dali that strong woman was Gala, a Russian lady, idolized by Dali. All the female characters on his pictures are drawn from Gala.

Elena Dyakonova, or Gala, was a mysterious and controversial figure, but she was a great friend and devoted assistant. When they met first, Gala was married. She was 36, Dali was 25, but it was like a lightning stroke for the artist: her appearance coincided with the image of an unknown Russian girl, whom Dali used to see in his dreams quite often. And additionally Salvador invented the ideal look of an elegant woman, which he was always looking for. So that all was in Gala, and he decided that Gala was totally his.

Gala recognized a talented artist in Dali by her devilish intuition, and her main aim became making a famous painter of him.

After they got married, the artist started to sign his pictures as ‘Gala-Salvador Dali’ as if they were one and the same person. Their marriage became a new surge of inspiration for Dali, moreover Gala displayed her great organizing skills and helped him a lot. She became one of the most famous model for painting and photographing: her body was not less famous than the body of Aphrodite of Milos.

But nothing in this world lasts forever. In the end of the sixties their relationships started to fade away, and the rest of their life it was just smouldering pieces of their bygone passion.

Gala asked to buy her a castle, where she spent much time in company of young men. Dali explained that she was allowed to have as many lovers as she wanted. He also confessed that it was even arousing, and he encourage Gala in her dragging his friends into her bed. Gala’s lovers fleeced her much. She gave them her pictures, cars, houses. In his turn Dali saved himself in company of attractive young ladies, though he didn’t want anything from them but their beauty. In public he introduced them to the others as his lovers, but that was nothing but exhausting game for him, as he still loved Gala. When his wife passed away, his life became dull. He stopped eating, scratched his face, he was constantly shouting and crying. He could wander around his house uttering delirious phrases about Gala. He didn’t paint anymore and died several years later after Gala.

Vintage Photos of People Wearing Masks During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, One of the Deadliest Natural Disasters in Human History

At the close of WWI, an estimated 50 million people died from the Spanish flu. Masks were the uninfected’s main line of defense.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.

The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march.

Why “Spanish”? According to Mashable, to read the newspapers of 1918, Spain was hit particularly hard by the virus. On the contrary: 1918 was the last year of World War I and, in an attempt to maintain morale, the United States, Britain, France and Germany suppressed newspaper reports of the illness. Neutral Spain, with no war morale to maintain, did not censor its newspapers; so, to the rest of the world, the flu appeared particularly nasty there.

Two women speak through flu masks during the epidemic, c.1918.

An American policeman wears a 'flu mask' to protect himself from the Spanish flu outbreak that followed World War I, c.1918.

A U.S. Red Cross employee wears a face mask in an attempt to help decrease the spread of influenza, c.1918.

A nurse protects herself while fetching water, September 13 1918.

A typist works while wearing a mask, in New York City, October 16 1918.

53 Glamorous Photos of Claudine Auger in the 1960s

Born Claudine Oger in Paris in 1941, Claudine Auger earned the title of Miss France Monde and was also the first runner-up in the 1958 Miss World contest.

Auger is best known for her role as Bond girl Dominique "Domino" Derval in the James Bond film Thunderball (1965).

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of young Claudine Auger in the 1960s.

March 17, 2018

Little Syria: Portraits of Syrian Immigrants in Lower Manhattan in the Early 20 Century

The Chinese have Chinatown. The Italians have Little Italy. And before the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel pummeled its way into Manhattan, people from the Middle East also shared a slice of the city's history. Little Syria, as it was known, was the cultural hub of America’s first middle eastern immigrant community and it was located just south of where the current World Trade Center stands today.

For 60 years between 1880 until the 1940s, Arab-Americans poured into New York City from Greater Syria made up of present-day countries including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel to escape religious persecution and poverty. They found homes in crowded tenements on a six block stretch of Washington Street from Liberty Street to Battery Park, alongside Armenians, Greeks, and other communities from the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

According to an 1899 article from the New York Times about the Syrian Quarter and its 3,000 residents, the newly arrived immigrants made a home for themselves in this “tousled unwashed section of New York”.

“Turks, Armenians, Syrians, when they ship for America, do not leave all their quaint customs, garments, ways of thinking at home. Nor do they become ordinary American citizens directly after landing. Just enough of their traits, dress, ideas remain, no matter how long they have been here, to give the colonies they form spice and a touch of novelty.”

Many of the early Syrian-Americans began their new lives as street vendors before saving up to establish their own businesses. According to the New York Public Library, over 300 Syrian businesses were listed in the 1908 Syrian Business Directory of New York.

Rarely Seen Photographs of ABBA in Their Heydays During the 1970s

It wasn't quite the British Invasion of the 1960s, which involved timeless bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but ABBA managed to pull off a one-band Swedish coupe starting in the 1970s. Indeed, even before the band's formation, Benny Andersson was part of the pop group called The Hep Stars, which was nicknamed “The Swedish Beatles.”

Andersson was married to Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and the couple joined another pair of young love birds, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, for a vacation on the isle of Cyprus. Their lighthearted singing during the trip morphed into an impromptu show for a troop of United Nations soldiers in the foursome's first-ever public performance together.

The couples dabbled with making music together from 1970 to 1973, going by the rather unwieldy name of Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny & Björn. They were known informally as ABBA, an acronym taken from the first letters of each band member's name. The shortened name took hold in 1973, and it's the one under which they took the world by storm, giving Sweden its first win in the Eurovision Song Contest and topping the charts in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world.

The 1970s were ABBA's peak years, when they churned out smash hits like “Dancing Queen.” “Waterloo,” “SOS,” “Mama Mia,” and “Take a Chance on Me.” They hit the pinnacle in 1976, topping worldwide charts with their Greatest Hits album, which also contained a new song, “Fernando” that hit number one in 19 countries.

ABBA didn't do a major tour until 1977, when the group headed off to Europe and Australia, followed by another European tour and a trek across North America in 1979. Sadly, that was also the year that Fältskog and Ulvaeus divorced, followed by the break-up of Lyngstad and Andersson in 1981.

The relationship turmoil foreshadowed the end of ABBA making beautiful music together. The band's airy, upbeat music started moving down a darker path in 1981, and they disbanded the following year. Members went on to their own careers, with Andersson and Ulvaeus both writing songs for the stage and Lyngstad and Fältskog taking on the daunting task of getting their solo careers off the ground. Neither managed to find the sort of success they'd enjoyed during their ABBA heydays.

A 1906 Issue of Punch Magazine Predicted How We All Act Now During Social Interaction

In 1906, Punch magazine predicted that people would be able to use “wireless telegraphs” to read sport results, news or messages. Amazingly, they said that this would happen in 1907!

Replace these “wireless telegraphs” with smartphones, update the dress a little, and this vision from a 1906 issue of Punch magazine could easily be for 110 years in the future. Part of a series of “forecasts” for the year to come, the caption reads: “These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady receives an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.” It’s a reminder that the idea of technology leading to a breakdown in “authentic” human interaction is a worry not solely limited to our age.

Punch seemed to have a knack for uncanny predictions of distant technologies to come.

(via The Public Domain Review)


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