Monday, October 31, 2011

BBQ at Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Corpus Christi College President's Guest Room or 1950s American sitcom?

Lesbian or German lady? What about Lesbian and German lady? It can happen, you know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Miss Gertrude Elliott

A stage beauty, as they say. American-born actress (1874-1950) though spent most of her career in England, where she played many roles--notably Shavian and Shakespearean--in partnership with her husband, the actor/producer Johnston Forbes-Robertson. They played in a silent film version of Hamlet in 1913. I find the blue-green tinting of this card, a sort of surreal aquamarine, enormously appealing.

Oim 'ere in London, and watched a television program last night about the music-halls--Little Tich, Marie Lloyd, et al. Great stuff. Put me in the mood for Gert. Any Gert.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pantyhose Banditti

I tried to talk the dealer down on the price for this one; he declined--on the ground that in all the years he'd been selling vintage photos and postcards, he'd never before come across one of people wearing pantyhose on their heads. I had no choice but to pay full price and look sympathetic. Indeed, nod sagely.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Alexander Pope, ca. 1950

Dept. of the Photo-Uncanny: I've spent the last month thinking and writing about him for my Oxford lectures, then last week at the vintage photo show in Emeryville I found this eerie anonymous snapshot of him. Who knew he'd lived into his 200s?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wordsworth in the Tropics

Oh, dear--working so frantically on lectures for Oxford, all else has slid away this week. I did go to the latest installment of the All-Image Show in Emeryville. Among other things uncovered: this lovely chemically damaged, verging-on-abstract Polaroid.

Yes, that appears to be an extravagant-looking cake in the lower right corner.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Must See The Address in That Purse

Stop it, stop it, Brutus--can't you see I have sconces growing out of my head?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Clarion Alley

Not postcard at all, but photo taken on beautiful Clarion Alley last year, in the Mission. My favorite example of stencil art I've seen in the City. It's now long gone, covered over by other inventions.

The scrubby grass at bottom: so urban, so valiant and unsung.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Death's Door

Late nineteenth-century view of Sandgate High Street, near Folkestone, Kent. Lived here for three years as a child in the early 1960s. Precisely where one sees the columned portico, was a 'zebra crossing' (PED XING in American). As a 9-year-old I stepped out gaily without looking and was nearly killed by a speeding motorcyclist. My mother, with a scream, had pulled me back at the last instant by the scruff.