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San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fountains at Juvisy

Fountains at Juvisy

Albumen silver prints by Eugène Atget (1857-1927). The photographs were taken in the first part of the twentieth century, mainly in Paris and in the former royal parks near Paris.


Hôtel de Brinvilliers






Versailles - Petit Trianon

Versailles - Grand Trianon

Images from the Getty Museum.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

White Lilies

c. 1916-19

Eugène Atget famously created a business supplying stock photography, mainly taken on the streets of Paris. Only after his death did he gain a reputation as an art photographer. That reputation appears to rank higher than ever today, evidenced by the confidence of the J. Paul Getty Museum in acquiring, restoring, preserving, rendering & disseminating the prints.


Pont Neuf


Vieille Cour, 22 rue Quincampoix

Saint Julien le Pauvre


Versailles - Brothel

Café rue des Blancs Manteaux

Au Petit Bacchus, rue Saint Louis en l'Ile
c. 1901-02

Au Petit Bacchus

Monday, January 26, 2015

Daughter Models

Elphinstone Agnes Maude (barefoot, above) modeled at a young age for her mother, English photographer Clementina Hawarden. This picture was taken around 1859.

Elphinstone was photographed again, the small child on the right in the picture immediately below. She holds a toy owl in the crook of her arm while one of her older sisters shakes hands with a puppy sitting in another sister's lap. Lady Hawarden had ten children. These three were posing on a terrace outside their mother's photographic studio at the top of the house at 5 Princes Gardens.

This terrace was used often. In 1864 it provided the setting for Clementina and Isabella in the famous photo below. This is now the signature photograph, the one routinely used whenever the work of Lady Clementina Hawarden is written about.

Adapted reproductions have appeared as well on the front covers of period novels.

Also on the terrace, a balancing poodle.

Eldest daughter Isabella Grace appeared in fewer photos than her sister Clementina (who dominated yesterday's post). Compared to Clementina, Isabella projected an almost recessive quality of pensiveness.

Isabella in Ireland, 1859

Above, an untypical instance of Isabella facing the camera and Clementina turned away. Lady Hawarden was fond of these over-the-shoulder shots, and in almost every case it would be Isabella's shoulder as frame for Clementina's face.

This final image is titled Study from Life. Clementina sits at a bureau reading a letter, her absorbed reflection visible in the tilting, lace-draped mirror. Behind her, Isabella is a sharp-focus, swirling form with no face, braced against the wall.

All images V&A

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Coloring Monsters

On Sunday afternoon Mabel brought out the huge purple crayon-shaped cylinder that contains her large collection of felt markers and let me know that she wanted to color.  

She took Baby Goat and Baby Unicorn out of their traveling bag and settled them on the floor with a view of the coloring book open to a spread with two large monsters. Mabel likes precise coloring. She designated the hard parts for me to execute, but kept control of the color choices. She often picked up the pen herself and went back over my colors to deepen them. We stayed on these same two pages for an hour and a half. They were that absorbing.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Second Daughter

Lady Clementina Hawarden, the great English photographer, used her daughters as her models. The second daughter, seen above in 1862, was named Clementina also. The photograph shows young Clementina in underwear  assuming the role of a young girl dreaming into a mirror while gradually getting dressed. The pictures below all feature Clementina, fully dressed, and all were taken in the family's large London house in the large upper rooms given over to photographic pursuits. One of Lady Hawarden's gigantic cameras is visible in the mirror at the center of the photograph immediately below.

All images from V&A

"Virtually the whole of Lady Hawarden’s extensive corpus survives thanks to the donation by her granddaughter, Clementina, Lady Tottenham, of 776 prints to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1939. Judging from the torn corners of many of the prints (some of them subsequently trimmed with scissors), the prints originally belonged in albums: why they were removed remains unknown."