Monday, March 13, 2017

Serape






Page from a 19th-century tintype scrapbook.  The women appear to me to be Mexican.  Californians?  Texans?   Circa 1880.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Another Lovely Young Hammerhead Girl





Not exactly a postcard or indeed photograph but a stunning image nonetheless---vernacular signage from Cabo Pulmo, Baja California.

Monday, July 25, 2016

I Forgot My Eyes






Polaroid with some nice greeny-goldy touches.  I think those are big green pants she's wearing--with monster cowgirl belt. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Things to Notice


His shoes, of course.  The lady who appears to have almost melted into the wall.  The very regal lady in black. She looks as if she could be Polynesian or African.  I believe the photograph is Italian, circa 1890-1900. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Serious Arm Problems


A hand-drawn, home-made postcard circa 1910s.  (?) The lady has a winsome expression and an arm and a half.  Plus Gigantism of One Leg Syndrome, aggravated by Slipped-Down Knee.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Friend Aquarius



He's a Water Bearer.  The outfit is jaunty; the hand-coloring confident, to say the least.

Monday, June 20, 2016

When Google Just Meant Googly



Attached plastic eyes; the pupils move around.   A luscious expression.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hannah Höch, Always

                                                                                        .

At present in Helsinki; last week, Bern and Zurich. Saw this Hoch-derived piece of signage in Zurich, where the whole city--indeed the whole country of Switzerland---is celebrating the Dada centenary.   Cabaret Voltaire now a state-of-the-art digitally enhanced "arts destination," complete with expensive pop-up shop, little improv theater (off-limits the day I was there), Swiss white guy sporting dreadlocks AND man-bun (all on the same head), countless brochures announcing dubious pieces of upcoming performance art, etc., etc.  Meanwhile, Hannah Hoch's little scissors retain their wry, burnished gleam.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Don't Let Us Be Tweaked Away





Greasy Topknots--and all.  That headband suggests eurythmic dancing, to say the least.

A Meme for All Seasons



Nice Silhouette of the "New Woman", as she was known around 1890-1914.  An early female-centric meme-for-all- seasons.  Very Thomas Hardy, very George Gissing, very Ford Madox Ford.

And indeed very Ethel Smyth. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gauziness is All



One of my pet blog subjects, obviously: that strange subgenre in "romantic" turn-of-the-century French postcards (Gauziness is All) in which the "men" look so much like women they probably are women.  Witness, indeed, the first two of the three exquisite images here: one might infer that the foppish creature (left), sniffing a perfumed letter, and the "man" in the couple below are in fact the same woman.  Whose fabby idea was this?  

The whole perverse business suggests a not-so-hidden collective disbelief in the existence of any "real-world" male pulchritude -- as in who would ever want to snog with a real man?  

My own choice for favorite waltz partner would be the stellar eunuch in the third image.  I have lots of other cards in which "he" appears.  It must be admitted that "he" also resembles one of my better-looking male colleagues.




PS.   One is reminded, by the way, of Japan's celebrated Takarazuka Revue.













Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yes to Hedy Lamarr

 "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."

She was glamorous, for sure, but not stupid.  Despite being considered one of the most beautiful screen actresses of her day--she appeared in a string of MGM hits during the 1940s--the Viennese-born Hollywood leading lady Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) rejected the life of movie star in the 1950s.

At the beginning of World War II--as her biographer Stephen Michael Shearer has  revealed --"Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency-hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.  Though the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of their work are now incorporated into modern Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology, and this work led to their being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014."  (Wikipedia)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Patricia Highsmith Semi-Lookalike



Late 1970's or early 1980s Polaroid?   She looks like a *slightly* softer and more tranquil version of the termagant Highsmith.  The setup here still looks good, though, for a scene in an alternative THE PRICE OF SALT.  One in which the two female lovers do not get interrupted on their voluptuous journey around 1950s USA; and indeed, are still drive drive driving (with occasional stops at RV parks) into the 1970s.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Paris, France!




An expensive card acquired through the mail from a European dealer, but sumptuous and sympathique.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Me With Archie

Actually, not.  But tug-of-war is definitely on our agenda everyday.  Or as my students would say, "on a daily basis."  Argh.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Wished That I....

...owned this photo but I don't.  It's by Danny Wilcox Frazier, and accompanied a Clancy Martin essay in The New Republic this week about the Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.  Here Cruz is campaigning somewhere during the primaries.  An extraordinary "history painting" of a photo: enlarge it as much as it will go, and feast on the dramatic details, brilliantly caught.