Sunday, November 23, 2014

Captain Cuninghame

(photo by Roger Fenton, Crimea, 1855)

next episode: turkey

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gene Tierney Day !

Gene Tierney was born November 19, 1920.

NYT obituary, November 8, 1991:

Gene Tierney, the elegant actress whose beauty bewitched a tough detective in the 1944 film “Laura” and whose portrayal two years later of a diabolically selfish woman in “Leave Her to Heaven” won her an Academy Award nomination, died Wednesday night at her home in Houston. She was 70 years old. Miss Tierney died of emphysema, a spokesman for the family said.

Miss Tierney had undergone years of treatment for stress and depression. She retired from films in 1965 after making “The Pleasure Seekers,” but made at least two television appearances after that. She told reporters that she preferred her life in Houston as the wife of W. Howard Lee, an oil man whom she married in 1960. He died in 1981.

A year before her marriage to Mr. Lee, when reporters found her working in a dress shop in Topeka, Kan. (a job she took as part of her psychotherapy at the Menninger Clinic there), she told them she attributed her illness to “my lack of understanding of what I could cope with and what I could not. . . . I tried to work harder and harder, thinking that work would cure everything. All it did was make things worse.”

next episode: William

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Silent Brass Band

Stille Fanfare (Silent Brass Band) promo (Dutch) 

The ‘Stille Fanfare’ (Silent Brass Band) is a small theatre group from Amersfoort. They look and act like a regular marching brass band, but they never actually use their instruments to play. They enjoy the confusion and disorientation they generate when they walk through the crowds and unexpectedly enter stores. They’ve played all over Europe and last week they even performed in the 95th Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City: link (Dutch/English).

next episode: Gene

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Miss Gertie Millar

Miss Gertie Millar

next episode: silent music

Friday, November 7, 2014

Photo of an Asylum Patient

Hugh Welch Diamond (1809 – 1886) was an early British psychiatrist and photographer who made a major contribution to the craft of psychiatric photography. He studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1824. A doctor by profession, he opened a private practice in Soho, London, and then decided to specialise in psychiatry, being appointed to Brookwood Hospital, the second Surrey County Asylum.

Diamond was fascinated by the possible use of photography in the treatment of mental disorders; some of his many calotypes depicting the expressions of people suffering from mental disorders are particularly moving. These were used not only for record purposes, but also, he claimed in the treatment of patients, although there was little evidence of success (source: Wikipedia).

next episode: gertie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ice Sheets


next episode: asylum

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Charles Pomeroy Stone

Charles Stone and his daughter Hettie, photographed in the spring of 1863. 
Stone's USMA class ring can be seen on the little finger of his right hand. Unknown photographer, restored by Michel Vuijlsteke.

In 1861 Charles Pomeroy Stone (1824-1887) was named brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the right flank division of the Army of the Potomac. On October 21 came the disastrous Battle of Ball’s Bluff which resulted in his arrest (more because of political rivalries in Congress than because of the defeat at Ball’s Bluff). He spent six months in prison, but no charges were filed against him despite his frequent attempts to be granted a court-martial, and he was released the following August with no explanation from the War Department. He then served as General Nathaniel Banks’ Chief of Staff until April 1864 when Banks relieved him after a falling out. In August General Grant gave him a brigade in the V Corps, but typhoid and an impending nervous breakdown resulted in his decision to resign from the army.

Work progress on Bedloe's Island (illustration from The Daily Graphic)

After the war he accepted a job as Chief of Staff in Egypt and spent over 12 years building up an Egyptian army and overseeing a dozen major explorations and surveys of the Nile River area. With the British takeover of Egypt in 1882, Stone resigned his position and returned to the United States where he was hired as chief engineer for the pedestal construction of the Statue of Liberty. He served as Grand Marshal of the statue’s dedication parade on October 28, 1886. Three months later, he contracted pneumonia and died in New York City on January 24, 1887. Charles P. Stone was buried with full military honors at West Point.

next episode: ice

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Zinaida Yussupova

Princess/Duchess Zinaida Yussupova (Christina Robertson, 1840)

next episode: Charles Pomeroy Stone

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Skeleton of a Human and a Gorilla

Skeleton of a human and a gorilla, displayed side by side (Roger Fenton, ca. 1860, Wellcome Library, London)

"When this photograph was taken, Roger Fenton was the official photographer at the British Museum  (the British Museum then held the collections that now comprise the Natural History Museum).

The human skeleton depicted is of no special significance, apart from the fact that it is probably of a European. The gorilla, however, shows evidence of severe trauma to its left arm - a bite from a lion to the lower part of its left humerus. Gorillas do not spend much time ‘standing’ upright because it takes muscle energy for them to do so. Thus, the supposedly ‘neutral’ presentation of a gorilla skeleton is in fact the presentation of an idea: ‘a gorilla standing is not too different from a human standing’" (source).

next episode: Zinaida

Friday, October 17, 2014

Barbara Stanwyck

next episode: skeletons

Monday, October 13, 2014



Marrakesh, Morocco (photos by RfA, 2011)

next episode: Barbara


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