Fashion at Longchamp 1912 by Seeberger Frères

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Seeberger Frères (Jules Louis, Henri) – Fashion at the Longchamp Racetrack, France 1912 via

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Seeberger Frères (Jules Louis, Henri) – Fashion at the Longchamp Racetrack, France 1912 via

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Seeberger Frères (Jules Louis, Henri) – Fashion at the Longchamp Racetrack, France 1912 via

Ziegfeld Girl Anna Held

Helene Held  (1872 – 1918) was a Polish-born French stage performer and singer, most often associated with impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, her common-law husband.

Touring through Europe, Held was appearing in London in 1896 when she met Florenz Ziegfeld. Ziegfeld asked her to return to New York City with him and she agreed. He set about creating a wave of public interest in her, by feeding stories about her to the American press, such as her having had ribs surgically removed.

From 1905, Held enjoyed several successes on Broadway which, apart from bolstering Ziegfeld’s fortune, made her a millionaire in her own right. Ziegfeld’s talent for creating publicity stunts ensured that Held’s name remained well known. Held suggested the format for what would eventually become the famous Ziegfeld Follies in 1907, and helped Ziegfeld establish the most lucrative phase of his career.

In 1909, Ziegfeld began an affair with the actress Lillian Lorraine; Held remained hopeful that his fascination would pass and he would return to her, but instead he turned his attentions to another actress Billie Burke, whom he would marry in 1914.

The film The Great Ziegfeld (1936) tells a sanitized version of the story of the Ziegfeld-Held relationship. Luise Rainer won an Academy Award for her performance as Held.

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Anna Held via

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Anna Held

Belle Epoque Beauty Geneviève Lantelme – Two Early Photographs by Reutlinger

Geneviève Lantelme (b. 1883) was a French stage actress, socialite, fashion icon and courtesan; she was considered by her contemporaries to be one of the most beautiful women of the Belle Epoque.

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Geneviève Lantelme by Léopold-Émile Reutlinger, 1900s via

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Geneviève Lantelme by Léopold-Émile Reutlinger, 1900s via

W.B. Yeats “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”

When Loie Fuller’s Chinese dancers enwound
A shining web, a floating ribbon of cloth,
It seemed that a dragon of air
Had fallen among dancers, had whirled them round
Or hurried them off on its own furious path;
So the Platonic Year
Whirls out new right and wrong,
Whirls in the old instead;
All men are dancers and their tread
Goes to the barbarous clangour of a gong.” – W.B. Yeats, ll.49-58 in the poem “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen”.

Vintage Photos of Bloomsbury Clique Society Hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell

Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (1873 – 1938) was an English aristocrat and society hostess. She was part of the literary Bloomsbury clique, along with Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, Lytton Strachey, Clive and Vanessa Bell, E.M. Forster and more.

Perhaps Lady Ottoline’s most interesting literary legacy is the wealth of representations of her that appear in 20th-century literature. She was the inspiration for Mrs Bidlake in Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point, for Hermione Roddice in D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, for Lady Caroline Bury in Graham Greene’s It’s a Battlefield, and for Lady Sybilline Quarrell in Alan Bennett’s Forty Years On. The Coming Back (1933), another novel which portrays her, was written by Constance Malleson, one of Ottoline’s many rivals for the affection of Bertrand Russell. Some critics consider her the inspiration for Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley. Huxley’s roman à clef, Crome Yellow depicts the life at a thinly-veiled Garsington, one of her estates.

Non-literary portraits are also part of this interesting legacy, for example, as seen in the artistic photographs of her by Cecil Beaton. There are portraits by Henry Lamb, Duncan Grant, Augustus John, and others. Carolyn Heilbrun edited Lady Ottoline’s Album (1976), a collection of snapshots and portraits of Morrell and of her famous contemporaries, mostly taken by Morrell herself.

NPG x144140; Lady Ottoline Morrell by George Charles Beresford

Portrait of Lady Ottoline Morrell by George Charles Beresford, 4 June 1903 via

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Lady Ottoline Morrell by Cavendish Morton platinum print, 1905 via

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Portrait of Lady Ottoline Morrell by Adolf de Meyer, c. 1912 via

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Lady Ottoline Morrell by Baron Adolph de Meyer
platinum print, 1912 via

NPG x14149; Lady Ottoline Morrell by Cecil Beaton

Lady Ottoline Morrell, by Cecil Beaton, 1927 © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London via

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Lady Ottoline Morrell, 1929 via

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Lady Ottoline Morrell in her bedroom at Amerongen, 1925 via

Three Photos by Robert Demachy (1859–1936)

Robert Demachy (1859–1936) was the leading French Pictorial photographer of the late 19th and early 20th century. Pictorialism began in response to claims that a photograph was nothing more than a simple record of reality, and transformed into an international movement to advance the status of all photography as a true art form.

Demachy is best known for his intensely manipulated prints that display a distinct painterly quality. Demachy was particularly interested in nonstandard photographic processes and is noted especially for his revival of the gum bichromate process (invented in 1855 but little used until the 1890s), which allowed the introduction of color and brushwork into the photographic image (source).

He gave up taking photographs in early 1914, and never again touched a camera, even refusing to take snapshots of his grandchildren. No one was ever able to extract any reason from him for this sudden change, and it remains a mystery to this day.

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Dans les coulisses by Robert Demachy, ca. 1897 via

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Behind the Scenes of the Opera by Robert Demachy via

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Behind the Scenes by Robert Demachy, 1906 via