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September 23, 2023

Stunning Fashion Photography by Francesco Scavullo in the 1950s

Born 1921 in Staten Island, New York City, American fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo began working for a studio that produced fashion catalogs and soon moved to Vogue. Scavullo spent three years as Horst P. Horst’s assistant, studying Horst’s techniques. He soon opened his own studio in Manhattan, and was married to model Carol McCallson from 1952 to 1955.

Fashion photography by Francesco Scavullo in the 1950s

Scavullo was best known for his work on the covers of Cosmopolitan and his celebrity portraits. His work has been used on the covers of Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Newsweek and Rolling Stone. He published several books, from Scavullo on Beauty (1976) to Scavullo Nudes (2000).

Scavullo died in 2004 of heart failure at the age of 82 while on his way to a New York photo shoot with a then up-and-coming CNN news anchor, Anderson Cooper. These stunning photos are part of his work that Francesco Scavullo took fashion portraits of classic beauties in the 1950s.

Model in floral print crêpe dinner dress with halter neckline designed by Joseph Whitehead for Herbert Sondheim, Enka Rayon ad, photo by Francesco Scavullo, Harper's Bazaar, January 1950

Model in sophisticated blue silk-faille dinner-theatre dress by Adele Simpson, photo by Scavullo, Vogue, September 1950

Barbara Mullen in sleeveless crêpe and Enka rayon dress with white convent collar by Adele Simpson, hat by Mr. John, photo by Francesco Scavullo, Vogue, April 1, 1951

Elise Daniels in blue and black check flared coat of Juilliard Wool for Junior Sophisticates, photo by Horst P. Horst, Vogue US, September 1951

Elise Daniels in blue rayon satin faille after-dark dress by Adele Simpson, photo by Francisco Scavullo, Vogue, September 1, 1951

Vintage Photos of the Original Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeers in the 1950s

The “Mouseketeers” were an assortment of variously gifted, mostly non-professional California kids selected by Walt Disney as the core around which the Mickey Mouse Club, Disney’s second network television venture (after Disneyland), was produced. The pervasively popular show quickly became one of the major crazes of the mid-1950s, and the “Merry Mouseketeers,” sporting black beanies topped with round mouse ears, became enduring icons of a newly affluent, post-war America.

The original show, begun in 1955, was syndicated from 1962 to 1965, again in 1972, and in an abridged format on the Disney Channel in 1983. Two up-dated (and very politically correct) versions appeared in 1977 and 1989, but it was the Cold War Mickey Mouse Club and its Mouseketeers that achieved true cultural immortality during its relatively brief but massively assimilated run in the 1950s. The show’s popularity was unprecedented in its time, and its nostalgic appeal and cultural impact continued to exert a fascination that was still evident 40 years later.

Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club premiered on ABC on October 3, 1955, and ran until September 25, 1959. The show was actually a recycling of the popular live Mouse Clubs that had flourished in movie theaters between 1929 and 1933. The TV manifestation proved equally successful with 1950s youngsters, although adults and critics were heard to voice some essentially unheeded reservations. Mickey Mouse Club was aired Monday through Friday between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. and was divided into four ritualistic segments. After a daily animated lead-in from the Mouse himself, the first quarter presented newsreels on global subjects of interest to children, a series of safety/health films or a similarly instructive feature moderated by Jiminy Cricket (Disney’s personable insect character from the 1939 film Pinocchio).

The Mouseketeers themselves (all identified by first name only) were divided into two groups: the “Red Team” of the top ten most showcased performers and the larger although second-string “Blue Team.” Of the select “Reds” Annette Funicello achieved the most Club -era adulation and post-Mouse success. Funicello enjoyed a brief recording and screen career before retiring into domestic life. In 1987 she returned, with AIP co-star Frankie Avalon, in the film Back to the Beach, a sharp satire that made frequent references to their mutual pop culture histories. Of the boys, Bobby (Bobby Burgess) became a dancing fixture on the Lawrence Welk Show. The adult regulars on Mickey Mouse Club were Jimmie Dodd, who moderated and wrote many of the songs, and Roy Williams, a Disney artist who spoke on the show only through his caricatures and quick-sketch drawings.

September 22, 2023

Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr and Jack Lemmon on the Lot of Goldwyn Studios, 1958

In 1958, an enchanting photograph was captured by photographer Phil Stern at Goldwyn Studios, showcasing four iconic figures from the entertainment realm: Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jack Lemmon. Tony and Jack were on set filming Some Like it Hot. Sidney and Sammy were filming Porgy and Bess. Both films were released in 1959.

Sidney Poitier, a distinguished actor, made history as the first African-American to clinch an Academy Award for Best Actor. His legacy extended beyond the silver screen, as he also became a prominent civil rights advocate, breaking down barriers and paving the way for increased representation for black actors in the film industry.

Tony Curtis, a versatile actor celebrated for his charm and adaptability, graced numerous classic films such as Some Like It Hot and Spartacus. Despite facing industry challenges rooted in ethnicity, Curtis, of Hungarian-Jewish descent, showcased his remarkable talents.

Sammy Davis Jr., a multi-talented entertainer, left an indelible mark on music, dance, and acting. As an African-American artist, he encountered racial discrimination throughout his career. Nonetheless, he triumphed over adversity to become a highly influential figure in the world of entertainment.

Jack Lemmon, a highly esteemed actor renowned for his versatility, effortlessly navigated between comedic and dramatic roles. His illustrious career spanned over five decades, leaving an enduring impact on the film industry, exemplified by his memorable performances, including his collaboration with Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot.

Candid Photographs of Joan Jett in Her Room, 1978

Joan Jett loved the old Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. She had left her mom’s house in the San Fernando Valley and move into the Trop.
“In 1978 when Joan Jett and I were both teenagers, she checked into the Tropicana Motel for an extended stay. We ate giant hamburgers in the coffee shop and watched John Wayne on the TV. While I was in awe of everything, I stood in the corner of her room taking photos.” – Brad Elterman

(Photos by Brad Elterman)

40 Handsome Portrait Photos of Lex Barker in the 1940s and ’50s

Born 1919 as Alexander Crichlow Barker Jr. in Rye, New York, American actor Lex Barker landed a small role in Doll Face (1945), his first film. A string of small roles followed, in films such as Two Guys from Milwaukee (1945) and Cloak and Dagger (1946).

Barker was known for playing Tarzan for RKO Pictures between 1949 and 1953, and portraying leading characters from Karl May’s novels, notably as Old Shatterhand in a film series by the West German studio Constantin Film. At the height of his fame, he was one of the most popular actors in German-speaking cinema, and received Bambi Award and Bravo Otto nominations for the honor.

Barker returned to the United States occasionally and made a handful of guest appearances on American television episodes, but Europe, and especially Germany, was his professional home for the remainder of his life. He died in 1973, of a heart attack, three days after his 54th birthday, while walking down Lexington Avenue on New York City’s Upper East Side, to meet his fiancĂ©e, actress Karen Kondazian.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of a young and handsome Lex Barker in the 1940s and 1950s.

22 Interesting Vintage Photos of Welcome Signs

A welcome sign (or gateway sign) is a road sign at the border of a jurisdiction or region that introduces or welcomes visitors to the city/county/state/province/prefecture/canton/region.

In European countries under the Schengen Agreement, a welcome sign may be found at borders between countries. Its purpose is partly informational, to inform drivers where they are, and partly for tourism, as it affords an opportunity to advertise features within the region to people who are entering it. A welcome sign is a type of town sign—a sign placed at the entrance to and exit from a city, town, or village. In many jurisdictions, the format of town signs is standardized; in some, welcome signs may be distinct from the legally mandated town sign.

A municipality’s welcome sign may give its population or date of foundation, list twinned towns or services within the town, or depict the town’s crest, typical local products, or the logo of sponsor organizations which maintain the sign. Here below is a set of interesting vintage photos of welcome signs was found by Mark Susina.

Welcome to Arizona

Welcome to Arizona

Welcome to Berlin

Welcome to Curacao

Welcome to Fabulous Fort Dells

Intriguing Photographs of Humphrey Bogart at Garden of Allah, ca. 1937

Taken after his star-making role in The Petrified Forest but before actually becoming a star several years later, these photographs capture a refined and gentlemanly Humphrey Bogart, images that reflect his privileged upbringing, so different from the hard-boiled “Bogie” of movie legend.

The setting is said to be one of the villas at the Garden of Allah, the famous West Hollywood hotel complex where Bogart frequently resided, during and between marriages. Circa 1937, the portraits are possibly the work of Mickey Marigold, a still photographer for Warner Brothers.

The Garden was famously owned by and named after silent film star Alla Nazimova, an exotic Russian import who allegedly had affairs with both of Rudolf Valentino’s wives. In 1919, the actress acquired the property at 8152 Sunset from real estate developer William Hay, who had built the estate in 1913. The palatial home stood on what must have been a secluded parcel of land several miles from the movie studios, making it ideal for keeping her get-togethers private.

Unfortunately, Nazimova’s career took a nose-dive in the 1920s, so she added 25 “villas” and a pool to the estate in hopes of turning it into an income-generating hotel. Even more unfortunately, the partners that had financed the expansion proved to be untrustworthy, and less than a year after the hotel opened in January 1927, the actress sold out her share of the property and made another try at Broadway. In 1930, the new owners officially named the hotel the Garden of Allah.

Maybe the fun was over for Nazimova but for the denizens of Hollywood, it was just starting. The Garden of Allah became the place for the famous and infamous to hide their escapades from the prying eyes of the public. Novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, who had fallen on hard times after early success as a chronicler of the Roaring Twenties, resided at the Garden while toiling as a screenwriter to keep his wife Zelda in a private mental institution back east. Conveniently, his lady love, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, lived on a nearby side street.



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