Portraits by Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934)

Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women.

Her husband supported her financially when she began to attend art school at the age of thirty-seven, a time when most women of her day were well-settled in their social positions. Käsebier never indicated what motivated her to study art, but she devoted herself to it wholeheartedly.

Throughout the late 1910s and most of the 1920s Käsebier expanded her portrait business, taking photos of many important people of the time including Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Glackens, Arthur B. Davies, Mabel Dodge and Stanford White. In 1924 her daughter Hermine Turner joined her in her portrait business.

In 1929 Käsebier gave up photography altogether and liquidated the contents of her studio. That same year she was given a major one-person exhibition at the Booklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Käsebier died on 12 October 1934 at the home of her daughter, Hermine Turner.

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Miss N (Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit), 1903 by Gertrude Käsebier

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Girl in Satin Dress with Roses by Gertrude Käsebier (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

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The Bride by Gertrude Käsebier, 1902

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Genevieve Lyon by Gertrude Käsebier, 1914

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Portrait of Miss Minnie Ashley by Gertrude Käsebier, 1905

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The Magic Crystal, or the Crystal Gazer by Gertrude Käsebier, 1904

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Self-Portrait by  Gertrude Käsebier 1905

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The First “it” Girl – Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit

Evelyn Nesbit (1884 – 1967) was known to millions before her 16th birthday in 1900. She was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty.

In the early part of the 20th century, her figure and face was everywhere, appearing in mass circulation newspaper and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items and calendars, making her a cultural celebrity. She was a popular cover face on Vanity FairHarper’s BazaarThe DelineatorWomen’s Home CompanionLadies’ Home Journal and Cosmopolitan.

Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era, James Carroll Beckwith, Frederick S. Church, and notably Charles Dana Gibson, who idealized her as a “Gibson Girl.” She had the distinction of being an early “live model,” in an era when fashion photography as an advertising medium was just beginning its ascendancy.

As a stage performer, and while still a teenager, she attracted the attention of the then 47-year-old architect and New York socialite Stanford White, who became her lover and dedicated benefactor. Nesbit achieved world-wide notoriety when her jealous husband, multi-millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and murdered Stanford White on the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden on the evening of June 25, 1906, leading to what the press would call “The Trial of the Century.” and Evelyn became known as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.”

In 1955  she was portrayed by Joan Collins in the film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Marilyn Monroe had been 20th Century-Fox’s original choice for the role.

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Evelyn Nesbit by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.

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Evelyn Nesbit by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr.

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Evelyn Nesbit

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Evelyn Nesbit

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Long Loose Hair – Vintage Photographs

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Evelyn Nesbit photo by Napoleon Sarony, 1901

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Maude Fealy

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Theda Bara

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Loïe Fuller

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to grow my hair this long has been my dream since I was four years old.

Early Photograph of Women’s Hair

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Superb Vintage Photos of Beautiful Edwardian Era Hairstyles

Edwardian hairstyles were largely dictated by the millinery trade. The hairstyles had a soft, fluffy and loose fluidity about them. Hair was dressed off the face, with the exception of a fringe, and hairstyles rarely had a parting.

The defining Edwardian hairstyle for women was the pompadour. After the Pompadour´s initial popularity among fashionable women in the 18th century, it was revived as part of the Gibson Girl look in the 1890s and continued to be in vogue until World War I.

Other hairstyles were fx. the Low Pompadour (for everyday), Hat Pin Hairstyles (for the late Edwardian Cartwheel hat), the Gibson Tuck, the Side-Swirl (the style allowed women to easier wear the picture hats), the bouffant and the chignon. Usually the full Pompadour hairstyle was kept for special occasions. In the early part of the Edwardian era it was accompanied by the “picture” hat; hats that were worn high on the head and heavily decorated with fabric, feathers or imitation flowers or fruit.

The  Pompadour hairstyle could be dressed in all manner of styles, but the basic concept is hair swept upwards from the face and worn high over the forehead, and sometimes upswept around the sides and back as well. The style could feature soft coils and fuzzy curled fringes. It could be decorated with a bun, chignon or knot, depending on what was in vogue at the time and the occasion. Chignons tended to sit low on the nape, or at the back of the head. A bun could also be situated on the crown. A knot is hair that is twisted to form a rope, and then coiled to form a shape. The different shapes had names, for example the Apollo Kno, the Psyche Knot and the Grecian Knot. A topknot sits high on the head.

Evelyn Nesbit, who posed for illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, and became known as the first “Gibson Girl.”

Gibson’s drawings of women represented the feminin ideal of the time.

via Flickr.

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The Soft Pompadour and Psyche Knot.
From Girls Own Paper and Woman’s magazine, 1911 via tumblr

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Gibson Girls with Pompadour hair via Tumblr

After the Victorian era hair got bigger and bigger via DeviantArt

Actress Gabrielle Ray´s hairstyle fits her large decorated hat 1906 via Flickr

Edwardian lady with big frizzy hair via Deviantart

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Miss Ethel Oliver with big Edwardian hair via Flickr

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough), by Bassano Ltd, circa 1905 - NPG x15360 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Miss Lily Elsie by Bassano via Npg.

Nancy Astor, 1908. beautiful portrait.

Nancy Astor with a knot, 1908 via Blogspot

Victorian/Edwardian model with a bun via Shorpy

Iconic Early 20th Century Fashion in Photos

Gibson girl Evelyn Nesbit via Broadway Photographs

The Gibson Girl began appearing in the 1890s. She was the personification of the feminine ideal of beauty portrayed by American Illustrator  Charles Dana Gibson during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The artist saw his creation as representing the composite of “thousands of American girls.”

Tightlaced Gibson Girl Camille Clifford showing her ideal La Belle Époque figure

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Edwardian lady wearing Redfern, who among other things popularised high-waisted Grecian style dresses after 1908

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Dress for the races by J. Dukes, photo by Reutlinger,

 Les Modes May 1912

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A fashionable woman at the races in 1909.

Scanned from the book “The Mechanical Smile” by Caroline Evans

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Gorgeous Edwardian dresses, hats and parasols. Toilettes vues aux Grand Prix. Irlande et linon brodé de la grande Maison de Dentelles, 1906. Belle epoque fashion.

Gorgeous Edwardian dresses, hats and parasols, 1906. Belle epoque fashion

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Lily Elsie...can't help but think how pretty she looked.

Actress Lily Elsie in an Ewdardian gown

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Mariano Fortuny Natasha Rambova in Delphos Dress, 1910

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The Red List

 Much inspired by ancient oriental textiles, he designed rich garments with very modern and body-conscious cuts that seduced avant-garde and emancipated clients.

Paul Poiret  collection from 1912,

Poiret dominated Belle Epoque fashion and reshaped women’s silhouettes by liberating

them from constricting corsets and popularising the high waist

Raoul Dufy textile design on velvet for Paul Poiret cape 1911 via The Humanities Exchange, Montreal, Canada

Raoul Dufy was one of the great innovators of 20th century textile design,

here is an example on velvet for a Paul Poiret cape 1911,

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Woman wearing French fashion from about 1905

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Fashion photo about 1914

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Antique photo postcard of Edwardian beauty

with a large hat and a snowfox stole around her shoulders,

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