posted under: black & white photography

three by lisa larsen

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william klein, new york, 1955


Big Face, front of Macy’s, New York.

william klein, dance in brooklyn, 1955

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robert frank in london + new orleans

robert frank london 1951 robert frank nola trolley 1955
Robert Frank in London (the City), in 1951, and looking in a trolley window, New Orleans, 1955.

more vladimir sokolaev

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More from Vladimir Sokolaev’s series of photos capturing life in the Soviet Union.

john bignell: woolworth’s, victoria, 1959

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Another photo by John Bignell from The Library Time Machine website. The vintage signage is as interesting as everything else in the photo. Tricel sounded vaguely familiar, but I had to look it up. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

In 1950 the British firm Courtaulds Ltd. began to develop triacetate fibres, which were subsequently produced on a commercial scale after methylene chloride solvent became available. Courtaulds and British Celanese marketed a triacetate fibre under the trademark Tricel. In the United States triacetate was introduced under the trademarked name Arnel. Triacetate fabrics became known for their superior shape retention, resistance to shrinking, and ease of washing and drying. Production of acetate fibres has declined since the mid-20th century partly because of competition from polyester fibres, which have the same or better wash-and-wear properties, can be ironed at higher temperatures, and are less expensive.

So there you have it. Synthetic textiles made of chemicals and perceived in their time as examples of ‘better living through chemistry‘. But just as hideous to touch and wear then, as now.

larry fink: adrianna, torrente, paris 1998

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john bignell: battersea fun fair, 1957

battersea fun fair 1957
I just discovered John Bignell in this post on The Library Time Machine website. It has more on Bignell’s work here and here. The reaction of the woman on the right is exquisite.

new site photos: the latvian national ballet

shadow dancer

New photos on the site are of dancers from the Latvian National Ballet, shot by Anna Jurkovska. Anna lives in Riga and is working on a longterm project documenting the company backstage, in rehearsal and in performance. The project, which she hopes to publish as a book, is called Sotto Voce. Anna has posted a lot of her project photos here. She has also photographed the Latvian National Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake, which you can view here. You should take a look at her photos of India, too.

LNO onstage

audrey hepburn by vivian maier

vivian maier
Audrey Hepburn at the Chicago premiere of ‘My Fair Lady’ at the RKO Palace Theatre. October 23, 1964. Vivian Maier.