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November 16, 2019

23 Amazing Vintage Photographs That Capture Everyday Life in Los Angeles in the Late 1930s

In 1939, Fortune magazine commissioned photographer Ansel Adams to document the city’s aerospace industry as the country was shoring up its air power. He captured more than 200 images for the assignment, many focused on the lunchtime rituals of factory workers along with everyday street scenes he encountered as he ambled about the rapidly developing region.

Adams visited a bowling alley, a forest of oil derricks, and a trailer park, one of many that popped up to meet a fierce demand among the workers for temporary housing. But only a handful of Adams’ images were published with the Fortune article, which marveled at the juxtaposition of the arsenal-making effort in the land of orange groves, neon signs, and movie stars.

It wasn’t until a couple decades later that Adams rediscovered his old photos and offered them somewhat meekly to the Los Angeles Public Library. “The weather was bad over a rather long period,” he wrote in a letter. “None of the pictures were very good.”

The library respectfully disagreed. “Even though you say they are not your best work,” a librarian wrote in response, “they present an interesting and useful study of the Los Angeles area in the late 1930s.”

Three men relaxed on a bench overlooking South Hill Street in Los Angeles. (Ansel Adams/Los Angeles Public Library)

Hanging laundry at Olympic Trailer Court on the border of Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, circa 1940. (Ansel Adams/Los Angeles Public Library)

Workers at Lockheed’s Burbank plant gathered on their lunch break. (Ansel Adams/Los Angeles Public Library)

A young girl outside a market at Olympic Trailer Court. (Ansel Adams/Los Angeles Public Library)

People on Santa Monica’s Ocean Park pier. (Ansel Adams/Los Angeles Public Library)

Drag Queen of the Century and Inspiration for Ursula: Divine in Photos

A drag queen (dubbed the “Drag Queen of the Century” by People) that broke every rule with her uncommon and disdainful style, an inspiration for Disney’s iconic villain Ursula the Sea Witch, the ever muse of filmmaker John Waters, several disco hits such as You Think You’re a Man and I’m So Beautiful, there are many things to remember of Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead on October 19, 1945 in Baltimore. “I think with John wanted a very large woman, because he wanted the exact opposite of what normally would be beautiful,” Milstead told NPR’S Fresh Air about Divine’s one-of-a-kind trait in 1988. “He wanted a 300-pound beauty, as opposed to a 110-pound beauty. He wanted, as I've been called, inflated Jayne Mansfield. And also, it's ironic that he would say the most beautiful woman in the world turns out to be a man.”

Let’s take a look back at the subversive artist during the 1970s and 1980s:

1972. Divine as Babs Johnson in 'Pink Flamingos.'

1970s. Divine attending an event in New York. Photo by Art Zelin.

January 1975. Lady Divine in New York City. Photo by Ron Galella.

January 1975. Photo by Leee Black Childers.

February 1975. Close-up portrait of Divine at the theatrical premiere of 'Female Trouble,' New York. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah.

November 15, 2019

Stunning Portrait Photographs of Apollonia Kotero Taken by Harry Langdon in 1985

Born 1959 in Santa Monica, California, American singer, actress and former model Apollonia Kotero began acting in film and television series such as CHiPs, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, and Knight Rider after winning the Miss San Pedro beauty competition, and following her stint as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams in the early 1980s.

In 1982, Kotero appeared in music videos for "The Other Woman" by Ray Parker Jr. and "Shakin'" by Eddie Money. In 1984, she appeared in the ABC television film The Mystic Warrior as the Native American woman Wicahpi.

Kotero is known for co-starring in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain and for having been the lead singer of the girl group Apollonia 6.

Take a look at these stunning pics of Apollonia Kotero taken by photographer Harry Langdon to see her glamorous beauty in 1985.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hands by Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz campaigned throughout the first half of the twentieth century to legitimize photography and modern art. He founded an exhibiting organization, the Photo-Secession, then the periodical Camera Work, and finally a series of galleries.

The most influential of these, the gallery known simply as 291, operating from 1908 until 1917, introduced the work of such leaders of the European avant-garde as Paul C├ęzanne, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Georgia O’Keeffe, who became Stieglitz’s wife in 1924, was among the progressive American artists whose work he also exhibited at 291. In a search for objective truth and pure form, the innovative photographer took some five hundred photographs of O’Keeffe between 1917 and 1937. The essence of O’Keeffe, he felt, was not confined to her head and face alone; equally expressive were her torso, feet, and especially her hands.

The Biscayne – Chevrolet’s Motorama Dream Car for 1955

Chevrolet’s Biscayne wowed show-goers at the 1955 General Motors Motorama. Designed and built under the direction of GM design chief Harley Earl, this genuine “dream car” matters because it is one of the two surviving Chevrolet concept vehicles from the automaker’s famed 1950s automotive extravaganzas.

Described by GM as “An Exploration in Elegance,” the Biscayne was a four-passenger tour de force by Earl and his styling team. This car was designed as a pillar-less hard top design complete with suicide doors, indented side panels, and “Stratospheric” windshield. The car was also used as the display platform for the then new production 1955 Chevrolet V-8, a 265 c.i., 215 h.p. powerplant. Unique swivel front seats allowed the front passengers easy exit from the low-slung car. Front and rear ashtrays and lighters were located on the driveshaft tunnel between the passengers.

Combining styling queues that would later show up in GM’s Corvair and Corvette production models, the Biscayne was produced for the popular Motorama shows of the 1950s, which were sponsored coast-to-coast by the automotive manufacturer and designed to promote its forward-thinking approach to automotive styling and production. All of the Motorama cars were built by hand and most had no engine, electrics or interiors. The Biscayne featured a fiberglass body.

The Biscayne show car was built for the 1955 Motorama. It employed many Corvette design ideas, and is presented to management as a new direction for the Corvette. The body is a special shell of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic for light weight and impact resistance. The Stratospheric windshield sweeps over the driver’s head to form part of the roof. The new four door design requires no center pillars.

Fashion Photography by Federico Garolla in the 1950s Through Fabulous Black and White Photos

Federico Garolla is a twenty-year-old journalist working for Mattino and Domani d'Italia - two of the main newspapers in Naples, his native town. He carries out hundreds of reportages for prestigious Italian magazines - L'Europeo, Tempo Illustrato, L'Illustrazione Italiana, Oggi - and for foreign ones - Paris Match, National Geographic, Colliers, Die Stern.

1950s fashion photography by Federico Garolla

In 1953, Garolla starts documenting the birth of Italian fashion with his camera. He takes photos of the young stylists in their ateliers, right when they were about to conquer the international scene. He photographs models in the streets under the curious eyes of people around. The services published on Eva, Annabella, Donna, Bellezza, Arianna, Grazia and Amica belong to this period.

At the same time Garolla portraits the Italian cultural life in a series of "photo-tales" dedicated to painters, writers, musicians, actors and actresses, but also to ordinary people living through the after-war years. As a matter of fact, he always keeps an eye on social themes.

In the last fifteen years, together with his daughter Isabella, Garolla works at the digitalisation of the archives and he takes part to national and international photographic exhibitions.

These fabulous black and white photos of classic beauties are part of his work that Garolla took from the 1950s.

"A Day in the Life of a Mannequin", model Teresita Montez (sister of actress Maria Montez), photo by Federico Garolla, Paris, November 1952

"A Day in the Life of a Mannequin", Sophie Malgat at dressing table, photo by Federico Garolla, Paris, 1952

Fashion model Sophie Malgat, photo by Federico Garolla, Paris, 1952

Model in summer wear by Gattinoni, photo by Federico Garolla at Foro Italico, Rome, 1952

Contessa Nuvoletti, photo by Federico Garolla, Milan, December 1953

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