John Thomson: Chinese Women, 1869-72.
John Thomson (1837-1921) was a pioneering Scottish photographer who, after traveling through various parts of Asia, settled in Hong Kong in 1868 and operated a studio there for the next four years. Using Hong Kong as his base, he traveled extensively throughout China and was the first known photographer to document the people and landscapes of China for publication in the western market. Returning to England, he published a four volume book entitled “Illustrations of China and its People” in London, 1873-1874.
Images courtesy of Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Posts tagged history happened here
1930c – Steel Humanoid – Yasutaro Mitsui (Japanese)
Illustrator & Artist:
“Buried With Her Tresses”
“Elizabeth Siddal was a poet, painter, Pre-Raphaelite muse, and wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.”
“When she died of a laudanum overdose in 1862, Rossetti buried a notebook of his poems with her. Years later when her coffin was exhumed, it is said that her corpse was remarkably well preserved, and that the book of poems was tangled in her long coppery tresses, which had continued to grow after her death.”
“I recently saw a fantastic exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC [link]. It has been providing me with inspiration for the past couple of months. It’s open until mid-May (I think) & I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves Victorian painting, fantasy art or a penchant for the tragic”
Josephine Baker, later known as ‘Bronze Venus’, ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Créole Goddess’ was born in America in 1906 and later moved to France to become a singer, dancer, and actress. She was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, and became famous worldwide.
Though she grew up as a maid in wealthy white households she eventually became an exotic dancer in France, famously appearing in next to no clothing, and became a French citizen in 1937.
Ernest Hemingway referred to Baker as ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw’ and she received approximately 1500 marriage proposals in her life time. She became a muse for Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Christian Dior. She had a variety of exotic pets including a cheetah named Chiquita, a chimpanzee named Ethel, a pig named Albert, a snake named Kiki, a goat, a parrot, parakeets, fish, three cats, and seven dogs.
When WWII broke out, Baker became a volunteer spy for France, and assisted the French Resistance by smuggling messages written in invisible ink on sheet music. She made great efforts to aid those in danger of enemy attack, sent Christmas presents to French soldiers, and smuggled information she gathered in Spain back to France by pinning notes containing the information on the inside of her underwear. She was awarded the Medal of Resistance with Rosette and later named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Baker also aided many civil rights movements by refusing to perform to segregated audiences and storming out of a club in Manhattan with actress Grace Kelly after she was refused service. She worked with the NAACP and spoke at a Washington march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as the only official female speaker. Baker was actually asked by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow to take his place as leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, but Baker declined on the grounds her twelve adopted children ‘were too young to lose their mother’.
Baker died in 1975, four days after her final show, attended by such names as Mick Jagger, Shirley Bassey, and Liza Minnelli.
Oh and she was queer and had a relationship with Frida Kahlo. All around badass.
Displayed for the first time to the public in 1917, the mummified heart was once the property of Edward Lovett, an eccentric British erudite and wealthy chief cashier in the bank of the City of London who, in his spare time, was the most relentless archivist of his era. A member of the Folklore Society since 1900, Lovett had one very unusual obsession: once off work, he would spend his free time strolling through the slums of Edwardian London to collect evidence of magic and medicinal practices, vernacular beliefs that the century of industrialization and rational sciences hadn’t eliminated. From his urban explorations, conversation with street sellers, sailors, and working classes witches, Lovett accumulated an astonishing array of charms, an incredible collection of odds and ends that proved superstitions were an invisible, yet persistent, practice, even in modern England.
Read more about the magic relics of modern England here !
The Daughter of Dawn, an 80-minute feature film, was shot in July of 1920 in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, southwest Oklahoma. It was unique in the annals of silent film (or talkies, for that matter) for having a cast of 300 Comanches and Kiowas who brought their own clothes, horses, tipis, everyday props and who told their story without a single reference to the United States Cavalry. It was a love story, a four-person star-crossed romance that ends with the two main characters together happily ever after. There are two buffalo hunt sequences with actual herds of buffalo being chased down by hunters on bareback just as they had done on the Plains 50 years earlier.
The male lead was played by White Parker; another featured female role was played by Wanada Parker. They were the son and daughter of the powerful Comanche chief Quanah Parker, the last of the free Plains Quahadi Comanche warriors. He never lost a battle to United States forces, but, his people sick and starving, he surrendered at Fort Sill in 1875. Quanah was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of Euro-American settlers who had grown up in the tribe after she was kidnapped as a child by the Comanches who killed her parents. She was the model for Stands With a Fist in Dances with Wolves.
You can watch the first ten minutes of the film here. It is over 90 years old, and was produced by, directed by, and stars only Native American people.
THIS IS AWESOME