Happy 185th Birthday Anniversary to Eadweard Muybridge


Eadweard Muybridge, LeCount Bros. & Mansur’s Stationary Establishment, ca. 1873 (977.2005)

Eadweard Muybridge (AKA Edward James Muggeridge), an innovative photographer, was born on April 9th, 1830.

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is the 100th birthday anniversary Billie Holiday

Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, NYC, 1949, (2007.90.65)

(c) Herman Leonard Photography, LLC

Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of Billie Holiday. Billie Holiday was born on April 7, 1915 and died on July 17, 1959 in New York City.

Herman Leonard website.
Great Fansinaflashbulb post on Herman Leonard.
A week long centennial broadcast can be heard on WKCR, here.

From “Forget If You Can” (Len Joy, Kay Upham, Jack Manus) recorded by Billie Holiday on May 11, 1938:

Don’t you remember
All the silly things we used to do
The way we laughed
When we were photographed
As Handsome Hal and his tintype gal

The Teddy Wilson led recordings, starting in July 1935, continuing with the recordings made under Billie Holiday’s leadership, and, starting in 1937, all of the recordings with Lester Young, (including songs like “Twenty-Four Hours a Day,” “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo,” “Life Begins When You’re in Love,” “You Let Me Down,” “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You),” “I Cried for You,” “I Wished on the Moon,” “It’s Like Reaching for the Moon,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “No Regrets,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “Mean to Me,” “Me, Myself and I,” etc.) are about as perfect as music recordings can be…

Lyrics to three songs written by Billie Holiday:

“Don’t Explain” (1944)

Hush now, don’t explain
Just say you’ll remain
I’m glad you’re back, don’t explain

Quiet, don’t explain
What is there to gain
Skip that lipstick
Don’t explain

You know that I love you
And that love endures
All my thoughts are of you
For I’m so completely yours

Cry to hear folks chatter
And I know you cheat
Right or wrong, don’t matter
When you’re with me, sweet

Hush now, don’t explain
You’re my joy and pain
My life’s yours love
Don’t explain

“Stormy Blues” (1954)

I’ve been down so long
That down don’t worry me

I’ve been down so long
That down don’t worry me

I just sit and wonder
Where can my good man be
When it rains in here
It’s storming on the sea
When it rains in here
It’s storming on the sea

Every time I come here
Everything happens to me
I lose my man
I lose my head
I lose my money
Feel like I’m almost dead
I need you honey
Need you bad as can be

I’ve been down so long
That down don’t worry me

“Lady Sings the Blues” (1956)

Lady sings the blues
She’s got them bad
She feels so sad
Wants the world to know
Just what the blues is all about

Lady sings the blues
She tells her side
nothing to hide
Now the world will now
Just what the blues is all about

The blues ain’t nothing but a pain in your heart
when you get a bad start
When you and your man have to part
I ain’t gonna just sit around and cry
And now I won’t die
Because I love him

Lady sings the blues
she’s got ‘em bad
She feels so sad
The world will know
She’s never gonna sing them no more

No more

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Circular Salome

Unidentified Photographer, [Decapitated Man with Head on a Platter], ca. 1865 (2008.81.15)

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weegee’s Guide to New York: Weegee was here…

If you, like me, find yourself walking around New York City, wondering:
Was Weegee here?
Did Weegee make a photograph on this street? Of this building? In this room? Right here?
Can we return to the scene of the crime?
Are we in Weegee’s World?
Well, my photogenic photographic fiends and friends, the answer to the immortal question:
Where did Weegee work, can now be found in a wonderful new book: The Weegee Guide to New York, (Prestel, 2015).

A few favorite page spreads:

Simply Add Boiling Water, December 18, 1943 (2009.16.2)
281 Water Street at Dover, Southeast corner.


[Filming The Naked City], 1947 (7574.1993)
Delancey Street, Approach to Williamsburg Bridge


[Covering the morning line-up at police headquarters], ca. 1939 (E.L. 1986.38)
6 Centre Market Place.


[Incident at the Howdy Revue], April 1938 (2192.1993)
47 West 3rd Street near Wooster, North side of block.


[Police and bystanders with body of Stanely Sandler, a passenger in an automobile that crashed into a Third Avenue Elevated pillar and caught fire], April 16, 1942 (Weegee portfolio 30)
650 Third Avenue between East 41st and 42nd Streets, West side of block.


[Weegee inspecting trunk containing body of William Hessler, who had been stabbed to death], August 5, 1936 (2212.1993)
701 Court Street near Bryant.

The photos are scratch and sniff and there is a pop-up section… Kidding! There are no scratch and sniff and pop-up sections, but the book is the perfect size for putting it in your pocket or purse, and taking it with you when exploring the Naked City, or just walking to work.
Something historic happened almost everywhere in Manhattan. This book could be the basis of walking tours, re-photographic projects, apps, maps, claps, audio walks, diary and journal entries, novels, historical nonfiction, movies (bromances and rom-coms), off-off-off Broadway musicals, operas, power-pop ballads, reality T.V. shows, tweets, subtweets, timeline photos, blog posts and much more…

There are 8.406 million stories in the Naked City, (there are 432 pages in the The Weegee Guide to New York), and this book can be a part of yours…
We’re all Weegee’s People now…

Weegee was here and here and here

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Save the elephants

I celebrated World Wildlife Day, in part, by looking at photos of elephants. (Perhaps not the most productive or proactive way to stop wildlife crime.) I love elephants. Unfortunately most of the elephants in the photos were in captivity, and mostly in circuses. shook_melissa_85_1998 Melissa Shook (melissashook.com), San Francisco, 1967 (85.1998) weegee_2137_1993 Weegee (1899-1968), [Circus Elephant]. ca. 1944 (2137.1993) old_toby_71_1995 Toby Old (tobyold.com), Orange County Fair, Middletown, New York, 1989 (71.1995) libsohn_sol_163_1983 Sol Libsohn (1914-2001), Circus Elephants at a Parade, Pennsylvania, 1946 (163.1983)

Although everyday should be wildlife day, March 3d is officially World Wildlife Day: “an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.” (un.org) bridges_marilyn_2013_111_15 Marilyn Bridges, Elephants, Zambia, (2013.111.15)

One of the most barbaric and tragic wildlife crimes is the slaughter of elephants for their ivory tusks. “Tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks.” (worldwildlife.org) “In 2011 alone, an estimated twenty-five thousand African elephants were killed for their ivory; this comes to almost seventy a day, or nearly three an hour.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, July 7, 2014) rothstein_arthur_216_1989 Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985), Elephants, Kenya, 1970 (216.1989)

Save everything. Start with the elephants.




Elizabeth Kolbert, “Save the Elephants,” New Yorker

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

66 Years Ago Today: “…for you darling, your picture.”

Mike Disfamer (1884-1959), Elma Lee, February 26, 1949 (2014.61.1)

“This was made Feb. 26, 1949. Little Darling Elma Lee was 5 months and 23 days old. God bless our little baby girl. This I pray will be kept for her so she may see how sweet she is, she is mine and daddy’s little angel girl, for you darling, your picture.
Mother Winona”

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

113th birthday of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams, Sierra Club Commissary, 1929 (305.1991)

A shy and gifted child with a love for the outdoor, Ansel Adams became a member of the enivronmental organization Sierra Club when he was only 14. Very early in his career Adams published his work and writings in the Sierra Club’s bulletin and in 1928 he had his first exhibition at its headquarters in San Francisco.

This picture  shows a group of members gathering for a break at stunning campsite. It may have been during the yearly “High Trip”, a month-long hike that was organized each summer and took hundreds of the Club members to the most beautiful areas of the Sierra Nevada. Adams joined the trip in 1927 for the first time. In a short period of time Ansel Adams established himself as the main photographer of the Sierra Club and soon became known as both the artist of the Sierra Nevada and the defender of Yosemite.

Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902 and would have turned 113 years today.

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment