Amazing Belle Epoque Photos by Henri Manuel

Henri Manuel (1874 – 1947 was a Parisian photographer who served as the official photographer of the French government from 1914 to 1944.

In 1900, Manuel opened a portrait studio in Paris with his brother Gaston, which specialised in portraitphotography. Manuel quickly became renowned as a photographer of people from the worlds of politics, art and sports, as well as a photographer of art and architecture. Soon his portraits were used by news agencies, and in 1910 Manuel’s studio began providing a commercial service to news agencies for photographs known as “l’Agence universelle de reportage Henri Manuel”.

The studio became the largest photographic studio in Paris and a leading centre where young aspiring photographers such as Thérèse Bonney might go to work.

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Sarah Bernhardt by Henri Manuel via

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Genevieve Lantelme by Henri Manuel via

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Régina Badet by Henri Manuel, c. 1910 via

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Marie Curie in her laboratoire, 1912 via

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Denise Poiret by Henri Manuel, 1910s via

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Colette by Henri Manuel, 1900s via

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Fashion photograph by Henri Manuel, 1895 via

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Vintage Photos of Performance Artist Emmy Hennings (1885-1948)

Emmy Hennings (born Emma Maria Cordsen, 1885 – 1948) was a performer and poet. She was also the wife of celebrated Dadaist Hugo Ball.

Hennings and Ball moved to Zurich in 1915, where they took part in the founding of the Cabaret Voltaire, which marked the beginning of the Dada movement. Hennings was a regular performer at the Cabaret Voltaire. Her performances included a role in Das Leben des Menschen (the Life of a Man), in which she appeared with Ball.

In The Magic Bishop: Hugo Ball, Dada Poet, author Erdmute Wenzel White writes that Hennings “was admired by expressionists as the incarnation of the cabaret artist of her time… The shining star of the Voltaire, according to the Zuricher Post (Zurich Post), her role in Dada has not been adequately acknowledged.

After the Cabaret Voltaire ended, Hennings and Ball toured, performing mostly in hotels. Hennings sang, did puppetry, and danced to music composed by Ball. She also recited her own poetry. In 1916 Ball and Hennings created Arabella, their own ensemble troupe, where Hennings performed under the name Dagny.

Hennings married Ball on 21 February 1920. Although they had no children together, Hennings had a daughter, Annemarie, from a previous relationship. Hennings, who outlived Ball by two decades, lived in Magliaso, Switzerland from 1942 to 1948. She died at a clinic in Sorengo, Switzerland.

Emmy Hennings been almost completely erased from the history of the Dada movement. This was due to her own inner conflict, her extreme practice of Catholicism contrasting with her debauched bohemian lifestyle but also because of her constant rewriting of her story and that of Hugo Ball during the latter part of her life. Dada artists and historians thus preferred to eclipse the role Emmy Hennings and turned her into a naive eccentric adorned by a childish bob haircut (source).

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Emmy Hennings and her dada puppets, 1916 via

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Emmy Hennings, 1910-1913 via

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Emmy Hennings with her friends for Revolution Ball of “Action”, 1915 via

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Emmy Hennings, 1915 via

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Emmy Hennings, 1917-1918

The First Modern Fashion Photography Shoot: Paul Poiret by Edward Stechein (1911)

In 1911, publisher Lucien Vogel dared photographer Edward Steichen to promote fashion as a fine art in his work. Steichen responded by snapping photos of gowns designed by leading French fashion designer Paul Poiret, hauntingly backlit and shot at inventive angles.

The photographs were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. According to historian Jesse Alexander, the occasion is:

“now considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot,”

The garments were imaged as much for their artistic quality as their formal appearance

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

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Edward Steichen, L’Art de la Robe by Paul Poiret in Art et Décoration, 1911 via

Beautiful Turn of the Century Postcards by Rita Martin

Rita Martin (1875-1958) started her photographic career in 1897 when she helped her elder sister Lallie Charles to run her studio. In 1906 she opened her own studio, working in a similar studio to Charles, photographing subjects in pale colours against a pure white background, and focused on actresses such as Lily Elsie and Lily Brayton and child studies, particularly of Gladys Cooper’s two children.

Martin’s and Charles’ few surviving negatives were presented to the National Portrait Gallery by their niece Lallie Charles Martin in 1994.

NPG x131516; Dame Gladys Cooper by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Dame Gladys Cooper

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1910. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131515; Dame Gladys Cooper by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Dame Gladys Cooper

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1910. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131528; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough)

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1907. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131530; Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough) by Rita Martin, published by  J. Beagles & Co

Lily Elsie (Mrs Bullough)

by Rita Martin, published by J. Beagles & Co
bromide postcard print, 1907. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131450; Lily Brayton as Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew' by Rita Martin

Lily Brayton as Katherine in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

by Rita Martin
postcard print, 1904. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x131451; Lily Brayton as Katherine in 'The Taming of the Shrew' by Rita Martin, published by  Aristophot Co Ltd

Lily Brayton as Katherine in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

by Rita Martin
postcard print, 1904. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x128831; Nora Kerin in 'The Prince and the Beggarmaid' by Rita Martin, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Nora Kerin in ‘The Prince and the Beggarmaid’

by Rita Martin, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1908. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

NPG x128832; Nora Kerin in 'The Prince and the Beggarmaid' by Rita Martin, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd

Nora Kerin in ‘The Prince and the Beggarmaid’

by Rita Martin, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1908. © National Portrait Gallery, London via

Extraordinary Vintage Photos of The American Circus by Frederick W. Glasier

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Queen, the High Diving Horse, Brockton Fair, Massachusetts, circa 1899 via

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Joan of Arc, circa 1912 via

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Ella Bradna, Equestrian, circa 1903 via

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Loie Fuller, Glorine, Butterfly Dancer, 1902 via

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Charmion, Strong Woman, 1904 via

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Nettie Carrol, circa 1904 via

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Annette Kellerman, circa 1907 via

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Gertrude Dewar, Mademoiselle Omega, Brockton Fair, Massachusetts, 1908 via

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Mademoiselle Scheel with Lions, circa 1905 via

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Living Statues, circa 1905 via

Famous Belle Epoque Actress Eve Lavallière Being Fashionable in “Les Modes”

Ève Lavallière was born at 8 rue Champ-de-Mars in Toulon. Her birth was not desired, and she was placed, up to school age, with a local family of peasants. At school age, however, she was enrolled by her parents in a private school of excellent reputation. After the death of her parents in tragic circumstances, and after running away from home. she arrived, as a teenager, in Paris. She became an actress renowned in the Belle Époque, including the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris.

Later she became a noteworthy Catholic penitent and member of the Secular Franciscan Order.

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Eve Lavallière dressed in Jenny. Les Modes, May 1914 via

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Eve Lavallière in Les Modes, 1902 (dresses for the comedy Les Deux Ecoles) via

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Eve Lavallière in Les Modes, 1902 (dresses for the comedy Les Deux Ecoles) via

Silhouettes Parisiennes, Wonderful Belle Epoque Fashion Images by Freres Neurdein (ca. 1910s)

The brothers Neurdein, Etienne and Louis, had a studio in Paris from 1863 until just before the outbreak of WWI. Etienne Neurdein stayed primarily in Paris, producing local projects, portraits in the studio, and photographing art entries at the Salon de Paris from which many lovely postcards were produced, while his brother Louis traveled widely, spending much of his time in Algeria. Silhouettes Parisiennes was probably produced by Etienne Neurdein.

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Silhouettes Parisiennes by Freres Neurdein, circa 1910s via

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Silhouettes Parisiennes by Freres Neurdein, circa 1910s via

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Silhouettes Parisiennes by Freres Neurdein, circa 1910s via

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Silhouettes Parisiennes by Freres Neurdein, circa 1910s via

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Silhouettes Parisiennes by Freres Neurdein, circa 1910s via