“A garden of memories.”

Vivian June Vollbracht, [Trufoto Photo Album], 1935-37 (2009.32.52)

From a S.S. Kresge Co. 5-10-25 cent store (later renamed Kmart), 526 Maine Street, in Quincy, Illinois, a small (6 x 5 inches) and beautiful Trufoto album from the late 1930s.

Kresege Building, Quincy, Illinois (screenshot from Google street view)

Vivian June Vollbracht, [Trufoto Photo Album], 1935-37 (2009.32.52)

Posted in Fans in a Flashbulb | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Hey, Stella!”

Cristina García Rodero, “La Tabua,” Zarza de Montanchez, Spain, 1985 (2007.21.7)

Marion Post Wolcott, Post Office in blizzard, Aspen, Colorado, 1941 (749.1984)

Barbara Morgan, Spring on Madison Square, 1938 (532.1986)

Unidentified Photographer, 20-Foot Snow Sculpture of Amelia Earhart, 1938 (2006.18.4)

Charlotte Brooks, Stowe, Vermont, (1943-50) (172.1983)

Madoka Takagi, Central Park West/73rd St., 1990 (2009.103.35)

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

Making History

Marc Riboud, [Anti-Vietnam war demonstration, Washington], October 21, 1967 (43.1974)

Jan Rose Kamir was 17 years old when Marc Riboud took the famous photograph of her offering a flower to a line up of soldiers, their rifles aimed, during an anti-Vietnam war demonstration, the March on Pentagon in 1967. Thirty years had to pass until Riboud found out the name of the young woman in what would become one of the most iconic photographs of the anti-Vietnam War movement. In an interview he recalled: “She was just talking, trying to catch the eye of the soldiers, maybe try to have a dialogue with them, […] I had the feeling the soldiers were more afraid of her than she was of the bayonets.”

Ms. Kamir remembered that “as [we] approached the Pentagon, the National Guard lined up to form a barrier to keep us from encroaching. Somebody was handing out flowers, which is how I came to have a chrysanthemum in my hand. I was going back and forth, beckoning the soldiers to join us. It never dawned on me that I was in any danger. This was before Kent State, so who would ever think that they would kill me? None of them made eye contact. They stonewalled me. But the photographer later told me he noticed them shaking. I think they were afraid they were going to be told to fire at us.”

Thirty years after their encounter Marc Riboud photographed Jan Rose Kamir again during a protest. This time during an anti-war demonstration in London. Ms. Kamir was holding a life-size reproduction of the photograph Marc Riboud took of her in 1967.

Jan Rose Kamir lives in Denmark with her daughter and husband. Marc Riboud died last year, at the age of 93.

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

Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Louise Dahl-WolfeMrs. Ramsey, Tennessee, 1933 (69.1982)

Louise Dahl-WolfeMr. and Mrs. Edward Hopper, New York, 1933 (70.1982)

Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Nude, 1941 (77.1982)

Born in Alameda, California, Dahl-Wolfe studied at the San Francisco Institute of Art. In 1921, while working as a sign painter, she discovered the photographs of Anne Brigman, a Pictorialist based in California and associated with the Stieglitz circle in New York. Although greatly impressed by Brigman’s work, Dahl-Wolfe did not take up photography herself until the early 1930s. Travel with the photographer Consuelo Kanaga in Europe in 1927-28 piqued her interested in photography once again. In 1932, when she was living with her husband near the Great Smoky Mountains, she made her first published photograph, Tennessee Mountain Woman. After it was published in Vanity Fair in 1933, she moved to New York City and opened a photography studio, which she maintained until 1960. After a few years producing advertising and fashion photographs for Woman’s Home Companion, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bonwit Teller, she was hired by Carmel Snow as a staff fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar in 1936. Dahl-Wolfe remained with the magazine until 1958, after which time she accepted freelance assignments from Vogue and Sports Illustrated until her retirement in 1960.

Dahl-Wolfe was especially well-known during the infancy of color fashion photography for her exacting standards in reproducing her images. Her insistence on precision in the color transparencies made from her negatives resulted in stunning prints whose subtle hues and unusual gradations in color set the standard for elegance in the 1940s and 1950s. In addition, she pioneered the active yet sophisticated image of the “New Woman” through her incorporation of art historical themes and concepts into her photographs.

Lisa Hostetler. Handy et al. Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection, New York: Bulfinch Press in association with the International Center of Photography, 1999, p. 213.

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

Vivian Cherry

Vivian Cherry, Watching the tearing down of 3rd Avenue El, 1955 (170.2003)

Vivian Cherry, Game of Lynching III, 1947 (168.2003)

Vivian Cherry, Game of Lynching IV, 1947 (169.2003)

PM, August 10, 1947, p. m7 (Photo by Bernie Aumuller)

No Floradoras in the Chorus

Most of today’s chorus girls, Chorus Equity says, are well-trained, ambitious – and unemployed.
by Ira Peck

The postwar depression, which the President’s economic report stated might still be avoided, has already hit Billie Earnest. Like 5,000 of her 5,800 fellow members of Chorus Equity she is now unemployed.
Billie Earnest is not an actual girl but her story is a real one. She is a composite made up from facts about chorus girls unearthed from a recent detailed survey by the chorus union, which includes both girls and boys in a 2:1 ratio.

Vivian Cherry is another chorus girl who has a background as a serious dancer. A tall, slender girl, her hard and muscular legs immediately betray her profession. Vivian, a New Yorker, studied at the Denishawn School, with Helen Tamiris, and finally at Wisconsin University. Like most embryonic dancers, she found the going tough at first.
‘A single costume,” she said, “can cost over $100. Renting studios for practicing is terribly expensive-75 cents to a dollar an hour-and if you hire a pianist that`s one to two dollars more. And a good dancer should practice four to eight hours a day.”
To earn money for her costumes and music arrangements, Vivian worked for a couple of months in the chorus at La Conga, danced one summer at Unity House, a resort run by the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union, with a carnival for a while and later with the Lunch Hour Follies, an American Theater Wing project which entertained war workers.
During an engagement at the Roxy, Vivian injured a knee and while convalescing took up photography. Since her last Broadway show, Show Boat, she has been working as a free-lance photographer and likes the field so well she is seriously considering making a career of it. She and her husband, Herb Tank, a merchant seaman, would like to make documentary films…

Though Chorus Equity has tried publicize the difficulties of Billie Earnest and her live co-dancers like Ora Leake, girls still flock to New York with theatrical ambitions which they hope to satisfy by starting in the chorus. Equity estimates they number about several thousand a year, of whom perhaps one or none will become a star.
PM, August 10, 1947, pp.m7-m8

The artist’s website: viviancherry.com

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

Yto Barrada

Yto Barrada, Girl in Red, Tangier, 1999 (2007.7.1)

When the European Union implemented the Schengen Agreement in 1985, Moroccans without visas were no longer allowed to freely cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Europe. People continued to leave the country, in search of better economic opportunities, making the Strait an area of illegal passage. Yto Barrada, a French-Moroccan photographer, began working on the series “A Life Full of Holes” in 1998, with an interest in documenting how the desire to leave inscribes itself in the everyday lives of Tangiers’ inhabitants and the city’s public and private spaces. A constant throughout the series is the many people photographed with their backs to the camera (as seen here, in the Girl in Red, Tangier). Indeed, this lack of interaction with Barrada (and by extension the viewer) suggests the alienation that results from a society preoccupied with leaving for another place.

In an effort to increase the country’s economic viability, the Moroccan government has set up a number of Free Trade Zones, with the largest in Tangiers. The lure of low taxes coupled with inexpensive labor is meant to entice companies to Morocco, provide jobs, and revitalize the nation. Whether this is a better deal for the Moroccan government or for the foreign investors they are pandering to is certainly debatable. In her series, Barrada traces the response of Moroccans to both the forces of globalization that have contributed to the institution of Free Trade Zones and the effects of the closed border. Their responses can be found in the minutiae of everyday life and it is these moments that Barrada captures, realizing that they communicate the experience of living in a society that is struggling to subsist as a result of departure and loss.

Source: icp.org

Yto Barrada, The Belt, Step 1 to 9, 2006 (2009.73.1)

Yto Barrada was born in Paris in 1971 and was educated in Tangier. She later studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography at the International Center of Photography.
In her photographs and video works, Barrada takes an oblique and dispassionate approach to presenting the political and social realities of life in Morocco. As a dual citizen of France and Morocco, Barrada is able to travel freely between Europe and Morocco but due to tightened security and EU laws it has become increasingly difficult for most Moroccans to travel or emigrate. Since the early 1990s the Straight of Gibraltar has become one of the main gateways for illegal immigration, and in her series The Straight Project: A Life Full of Holes, Barrada captures the temptations of leaving and the unfulfilled hopes of escaping from Morocco into Europe. A number of subjects have their backs to the camera or their faces obscured, a deliberate choice by the photographer to represent the idea of turning one’s back on one’s home country by those trying to cross the border. Her subsequent project, Iris Tingitana, once again centers on Tangier, and how developers’ monocultural vision for the outskirts of the city threatens to homogenize landscapes and human lives.
Barrada’s works are held in public collections including the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou; the Solomon Guggenheim Museum; and the Tate Modern.

Mary O’Donnell Hulme. Source: icp.org

The artist’s website: ytobarrada.com

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


Faith Ringgold, Freedom Woman Now, 1971 (796.2002)

Faith Ringgold, The United States of Attica, 1971 (795.2002)

Faith Ringgold, Judson 3, ca. 1970-71 (877.2002)

Faith Ringgold, Peoples Flag Show, (1970) (883.2002)

The “People’s Flag Show” at Judson church was open for only a few days and the Judson 3: Faith Ringgold, Jon Hendricks and Jon Toche, were arrested on November 13th, for desecration of the American flag.

Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), [Untitled], ca. 1967 (835.2002),

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), NYCLU Benefit, 1972 (859.2002)

These posters, offset lithographs, were produced with the Artists Poster Committee of Art Workers Coalition (Jon Hendricks, Irving Petlin, Frazier Dougherty). The New York Civil Liberties Union, NYCLU, the first amendment, the freedom of expression, protesting, arts workers, Faith Ringgold, Louise Nevelson , Louise Bourgeois, are as vital and relevant in 1972 as today and tomorrow.

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