Moist Custard Essence
Norma Shearer (Montréal 1902 – Los Angeles 1983) in Pretty Ladies, 1925
Edith Clifford, world champion sword swallower, c.1900.
Today is World Sword Swallowers Day, and is annually celebrated throughout the world, on the last Saturday of February,
The art of sword swallowing originated over 4000 years ago in India, and requires the practitioner to use mind-over-matter techniques to repress natural reflexes in order to insert solid steel blades from 15 to 25 inches down the esophagus and into the stomach. There are currently less than a few dozen full-time professional sword swallowers actively performing around the world today.
Selfies circa 1920s
ca. 1890, [cabinet card, portrait of dancer Miss Murdock, in a lovely costume], Moreno & Lopez of New York
Studio photograph of a woman embarassed to show her face, wearing an artificial leg manufactured by James Gillingham, late 19th century
Lillian Gish photographed for Broken Blossoms (1919)
The Goddess of Death and Rebirth c.1905
What if one of the most important street photographers of the 20th century was a 1950s children’s nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone?
Decades later in 2007, a Chicago real estate agent and historical hobbyist, John Maloof purchased a box of never-seen, never-developed film negatives of an unknown ‘amateur’ photographer for $380 at his local auction house.
John began developing his new collection of photographs, some 100,000 negatives in total, that had been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago before they ended up at the auction house. It became clear these were no ordinary street snaps of 1950s & 60s Chicago and New York and so John embarked on a journey to find out who was behind the photographs and soon discovered her name: Vivien Maier.