October 31, 2017

An Amazing Photo Diary From Two Women Who Traveled Around Australia in a VW in 1963

Spelio had these slides to sort, and the diary to Blog one day. He scaned them ready for Betty's 90th birthday in Mrach 2014, 50 years since the trip.
“Two of my aunts Dorothy and Betty drove around Australia in their Beetle on a great adventure which Betty has written up in a 100p typed diary, and Dorothy photographed the trip with a 1000 Kodachromes.”
Betty 'looking towards Byron Bay' with Gi-Gi on hill, 13th Jan 1963

Betty climbing Transit Hill, Port Macquarie, Jan 1963

Betty in flooded road, Queensland, January 1963

Canefields on the first stage of the around Australia trip in Gigi the VW in 1963

Dorothy climbing Transit Hill, Port Macquarie, Jan 1963

A Harvard Student With Aids Is Hugged by His Parents

Nicholas Nixon has devoted a significant portion of his long career — which stretches back to the 1970s — to taking portraits of people who are sick and dying.

“I think I was interested in mortality before I even knew it,” he says. “Something drew me to life being short and sweet and sad early on.”

Robert Sappenfield and his parents by Nicholas Nixon. Photograph: Nicholas Nixon

“This was 1987 and the number of gay men in America who were closeted was huge, maybe 80 or 90%. Faggot was a common expletive. And this was before good drug therapies. Aids was like the plague: when you got it, you died. I never saw anyone who lived more than five years after they got the virus.

“The people you saw with Aids in newspapers or on television were very gaunt gay men near death. It was easy for the public to say: I don’t use drugs, I’m not gay, I don’t need to care. And no one was writing about the humanity of these men, how they’d been oppressed. That seemed shabby to me. I thought, arrogantly, that a book of pictures of individuals might soften people’s attitudes. It would be a record of their place in life, right up to the end if they wanted. The gaunt picture would be preceded by images of them in better health.

“I became very close to three or four people. Bob Sappenfield, pictured here, was one. He was smart, a graduate student at the Kennedy School in Harvard. We talked about books, everything under the sun. He wanted to work in public policy, not just on gay issues, but human rights. He believed that if you got to a high place, you could change things from the top.

“His parents came up from New Orleans: his father was a doctor, his mother a nurse. They were kind, lovely people. Bob had a thing called toxoplasmosis, an eating away of the brain. He thought it was ironic that the thing that was going to get him had to do with the mind, whereas a lot of the pretty boys would get Karposi’s sarcoma, ugly tumours on the skin. I used a big electronic flash and one time Bob asked if I’d let him put his finger in the socket, to kill himself. I couldn’t. But such signs of desperation were pretty rare.

“There was a protest about the photos: to some people, any portrayal of a person with Aids that wasn’t positive was wrong. Their slogan was: “Living with Aids, not dying with Aids.” I really understand that: I’d want anyone I loved to have as positive an outlook as possible. But their job was to protect their circle of friends and loved ones. Mine was to make the best picture I could. Everyone wants to matter – and I think everybody does.”

(via The Guardian)

You Were a Child of the 1950s and 1960s If You Remember These Dolls

You were a child of the 1950s and 1960s if you remember these dolls. Did you have one? Do you still have it? Or are you collecting any of these much loved dolls.

1. Thumbelina Doll

The Ideal Toy Company borrowed the name “Thumbelina” from a fairy tale and began selling Thumbelina in 1961. This sweet-faced baby doll was popular for its real life look, light weight, body that could wiggle, and for its lovely pink and white costumes. The doll brought out the desire of a girl to identify with her mother.

2. Tiny Tears

Tiny Tears was a doll manufactured by the American Character Doll Company. She was produced from 1950 through 1968. After being filled with water from her baby bottle, the doll shed tears from tiny holes when her stomach was pressed. Tiny Tears gave expression to the compassionate nature of a child.

3. Chatty Cathy Doll

Chatty Cathy was a pull-string talking doll manufactured by the Mattel from 1959 to 1965. In 1960, a child had the choice of one of two outfits for it. In 1961 six extra outfits were sold for it with names like Party Dress, Nursery School Dress, Sleepy Time Pajamas, Playtime Shorts, and Party Coat. In 1963 Sunday Visit Dress and Sunny Day Capri Shorts were available. The doll fascinated children with its appealing voice.

4. Patti Playpal

Patti Playpal was produced by the Ideal Toy Company from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. Its head, arms, legs and torso were made from vinyl. At 36 inches tall the dolls were marketed as “companion dolls” to children, able to share clothing with their owners as if they were a real friend.

5. Barbie

Barbie needs no introduction. She has been a fashion doll manufactured by Mattel, Inc. since 1959. Barbie has many accessories and doll friends. Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company’s most profitable line. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

‘A Century Run or Bust’, deposited by Fred L. Hacking in 1900

A set of two photographs from the year 1900, marking the commencement of the 20th century. The first, entitled "A century run or bust", shows a man riding a child's tricyle, being pushed with a stick by another man, towards the direction marked as the "20th Century" by a sign on a nearby tree. The second photograph, entitled "Busted", shows the man falling off, and destroying, the tricycle, and being mocked by the second man.

(Photos by Fred L. Hacking)

October 30, 2017

The Face of New York in the 1940s Through Andreas Feininger's Lens

Born in Paris, one of the world's most prolific photographers, Andreas Bernhard Lyonel Feininger (1906-1999) was an American photographer and a writer on photographic technique. He was noted for his dynamic black-and-white scenes of Manhattan and for studies of the structures of natural objects.

Feininger was a pioneer both visually and technically. He was educated in German public schools and at the Weimar Bauhaus. His interest in photography developed while he was studying architecture, and he worked as both architect and photographer in Germany for four years, until political circumstances made it impossible. Feininger moved to Paris, where he worked in Le Corbusier's studio, and then to Stockholm. There he established his own photographic firm specializing in architectural and industrial photography.

New York in the 1940s by Andreas Feininger

With the outbreak of war in 1939, Feininger moved to New York, where he was a freelance photographer for the Black Star Agency and then for the U.S. Office of War Information. After working on a retainer basis, he was a staff photographer at LIFE from 1943 to 1962, and there established his reputation.

Feininger subsequently concentrated on his personal work, exhibiting and publishing extensively. he was renowned as a teacher via his publications that combine practical experience with clarity of presentation.

42nd Street, New York, circa 1940

Apollo Theatre, NYC, 1940

Central Park, NYC, 1940

Futon Street, New York, 1940

Lower Manhattan seen from Brooklyn, circa 1940

Adorable Vintage Posters Promoting Kindness to Animals From the Great Depression

Morgan Dennis (1892-1960) was an American artist and writer who is most often remembered for his images of dogs. These posters, by Morgan Dennis, were produced for the American Humane Association's Be Kind to Animals Week during the 1930s.

The commemorative week was first observed in 1915, and several well-known artists of the time created artwork to promote it over its first few decades of life. The national organization offered copies of posters like Dennis' to local branches, leaving space at the bottom for their identifying information.

Each Dennis poster featured a child performing a kind act, reflecting the organization's educational approach. The Association's timeline history of the week notes that in 1936 Shirley Temple was the junior chair of the Be Kind to Animals Week commemoration—a celebrity endorsement that further cemented the relationship between kindness to animals and childhood.

1932 Be Kind to Animals Week poster featuring artwork by Morgan Dennis.

1934 Be Kind to Animals Week poster featuring the artwork of Morgan Dennis.

1935 Be Kind to Animals Week poster featuring the artwork of Morgan Dennis.

1936 Be Kind to Animals Week poster featuring the artwork of Morgan Dennis.

1938 Be Kind to Animals Week poster featuring the artwork of Morgan Dennis.

(Images: Collection of Robert Penney/the National Museum of Animals & Society; via Slate)

The World in the 1890s Through 12 Glorious Photos

Photochromes are vibrant and nuanced prints hand-colored from black-and-white negatives. Created using a process pioneered in the 1880s, these images offer a fascinating insight into the world when color photography was still in its infancy.

Photochrome is a method of producing colored images from black-and-white negatives, allowing color pictures to be created before color photography became available. The process was developed in the 1880s by the Swiss chemist Hans Jakob Schmid.

Creating a photochrome involved taking detailed notes on the colors present in the photographed scene, and then hand-coloring the negative...

Women in Algeria, 1899

The Pra├ža da Ribeira in Porto, Portugal, circa 1903

Lauterbrunnen and the Staubbach waterfall, Switzerland, circa 1900

Mosque of El-Zituna in Tunis, Tunisia, 1896

The Rhine Falls, Switzerland, circa 1890

The World Through Jack London's Eyes

When most people hear the name Jack London, they think of one of the most widely read American writers who produced 50 books including Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf; some may also know him as an adventurer or social activist. But most don't realize that Jack London was a prolific photographer producing nearly 12,000 photographs during his lifetime, ranging from the poignant images of the ragged homeless living in London's East End; images of the Russo-Japanese War while he was on assignment for the Hearst Syndicate; sensitive images of the South Seas islanders during his voyage aboard the Snark to the 1906 San Francisco earth quake devastation.

In his photography, London showed his powers of perception and revealed his compassion, respect and love for humanity. Most of his photographs remained unpublished until 2010 when authors Jeanne Campbell Reesman, Sara S. Hodson and Philip Adam published Jack London Photographer with 200 images.

London lived during the first true mass-media era, when the use of photographic images ushered in a new way of covering the news. With his discerning eye, London recorded historical moments through the faces and bodies of the people who lived them, creating memorable portraits of individuals whose cultural differences pale beside their common humanity.

White Chapel on a bank Holiday, London, 1902.

Men spending the night outdoors on the Thames embankment, London, 1902.

Homeless women sleeping in Spitalfields Garden, London, 1902.

Salvation Army barracks in London during Sunday morning rush – men who had been given tickets during the night queuing for free breakfast, 1902.

London, 1902.

Luisa Lukic: Short Life of a Beautiful Girl Through Amazing Photos

These amazing photos as a photo story from Elly Lukic that show a part of the life of Luisa Lukic (1966-1990), her half-sister. She was a beautiful girl, but had a short tragic life. 

“She was the only child of my father and his first wife Snezana (no relation to me). Although I have no memory of my oldest sister, I feel as if a part of me is missing, like I've lost a twin. I've been told we're a great deal alike, both in appearance and demeanor.”

Luisa Lukic (1966-1990)

“The last photo was photographed months before her death. Luisa became withdrawn, dyed her hair a desperately hopeful orangish-blonde shade, and lost a ton of weight. You can see the wear in her face. Another casualty of clinical depression.”

Here is the photo story...

My sister Luisa with her mother and grandmother (no relation to me), 1975

 My sister Luisa with her grandmother and dad, 1975

My sister Luisa as a little girl, sitting between her mother and grandmother on a park bench, 1975

Good morning little schoolgirl, 1975

Luisa with her mother Snezana and grandmother, 1978

October 29, 2017


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