This is a book of poems by Florence Elon and illustrated by Warwick Hutton in 1984, The Keepsake Press.
Florence Elon, A young poet of impressive range, who draws on continental European, Jewish and cosmopolitan roots, and whose sense of exile is pervasive.
MY EYELIDS OPEN My eyelids open from a thought of you to your half-covered shape beside me, blurred as rain slanting against our window now: chilled slopes & hollows of your face surprise my fingertips, that slide across flesh puckering between each forehead line; a white flash of the sky lights up your eyes. Our bodies, turning towards each other, close like halves of a book. Taut mass of your thighs & torso, that my own curves press into, burns as you sway: warm being next to mine, in this full touch, clay moulding against clay- beside which, other acts are partial, all thoughts, substitutes- change dream to fact.
LINES FOR AN ALBUM For sport, long summer days, falling in love, we took snapshots of graves on the outskirts of Rome. Caged in gold wire a stage crowned the headstone: two angels in mid-air hovered on silver wings, holding lit bulbs round a Madonna figurine- rose-lipped, pearl-robed- smiling into our lens. I spread the finished prints on our tile floor one late September afternoon. They show, in blacks & whites: Madonnas’ teeth missing, bulbs burnt-out, & round the stone- boll-wisp, wing-bone.
Though not a typical post for me I think it is good to investigate an artist and a muse. The X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS book by signer Madonna and photographer Steven Klein is a curious meeting of minds.
The images use the typical surroundings of the traditional muse, a bed, a chez lounge and the stage of a performer, all without any frills and stripped back. The clothes are by a range of designers but the impressive red dress is by Christian Lacroix
This last video was a photo animation. It was 8 x 26 feet.
Norman Parkinson was a celebrated British fashion and portrait photographer. Credited for inspiring important shifts in the trends of fashion photography, Parkinson left the more posed studio setting to take outdoor shots that were more dynamic and carefree than his contemporaries, adding inventive humorous elements in to his work.
Parkinson’s work regularly appeared in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, earning a reputation for finely produced images that combined elegance with British charm. “I like to make people look as good as they’d like to look, and with luck, a shade better,” he once quipped.
Born on April 21, 1913 in London, England, he began his photography career as an apprentice to Speaight and Sons court photographers in 1931. He would later take over as official court photography to the British monarchy following the death of predecessor, Cecil Beaton, in 1975. Parkinson would create many indelible portraits of the royal family, and was the recipient of the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He died on February 15, 1990 while on assignment in Singapore.
Norman Parkinson – Régine Debrise wearing a Balenciaga ball gown, 1950
Norman Parkinson – Wenda Parkinson (née Rogerson), 1947
Norman Parkinson – The daughters of William Bramwell Booth (Olive Emma Booth; Dora Booth; Catherine Bramwell-Booth), 1981
Norman Parkinson – Anne Chambers (Owena Anne Chambers (née Newton), 1949
Norman Parkinson – Margot Fonteyn; Sir Robert Murray Helpmann, 1951
Norman Parkinson – Kathleen Ferrier, 1952
Norman Parkinson – Edward Bawden with Walter Hoyle to his left and Sheila Robinson to his right, 1951
Norman Parkinson – (John) Christopher Heal, 1953
Norman Parkinson – Joan Cox with thirty-five school children, 1955
Norman Parkinson – Wenda Parkinson (née Rogerson), 1951
Norman Parkinson – Carmen Dell’Orefice, 1980
Norman Parkinson – Dame Barbara Hamilton Cartland, 1977
Norman Parkinson – Dame Margaret Rutherford as the Duchess; Paul Scofield as Prince Albert; Mary Ure as Amanda in ‘Time Remembered’, 1955
Norman Parkinson – The Young Look in the Theatre, 1953
Norman Parkinson – Charles Alexander Vaughan Paget, Earl of Uxbridge; Lady Henrietta Charlotte Eiluned Megarry (née Paget), 1953
Norman Parkinson – Virginia Ironside with three children
I thought this review of the London Group Show was of note as it features so many wonderful painters. I have found some of the paintings on show to illustrate it. Originally published in the magazine, Colour, 1915.
Harold Gilman – Leeds Market, 1913
London Group – The third Exhibition of this group is now on exhibition at the Goupil Salon is one of in which a certain sense of gaiety and experiment is to be seen. The spirit of adventure is also alive, and the group being one where members are not subject to the tyranny of a selecting committee, one notices that with a free hand these artists can give liberal expression to their point of view. There is much good painting in various Styles, and Little that is bad add, while a high level of excellence is in evidence throughout the show. W. B. Adeney show several canvases in which the design is obviously the first aim of the artist. In most cases he is successful. Thérèse Lessore is also greatly interested in the designing of her canvases, but colour also plays an important part. Harmonies of Pale colours, that always good colours, together with a simplified rendering of the figures which people her canvases, make for a series of distinguished works. As decorations they are complete.
Christopher R. W. Nevinson – Les Guerre de Trous, 1914
Figure work and portraits at this exhibition are few, and of the latter nana satisfactory. Of the former, Thérèse Lessore, who we have already mentioned, Mary Godwin, and Horace Brodzky, contribute. The last mentioned painter shows a decoration in which three nudes energetically struggle with a large stone. This work is evidently a sketch for a mural decoration to be painted on a large scale. Mary Godwin’s subjects display a searching after luminosity and texture.
Mark Gertler – Creation of Eve
R.P. Bevan sends a fine landscape “The Corner House,” which shows that he has learnt match from Cezanne without losing his own individuality. The excessive pink and mauve of his earlier work now makes place for dignified colour. His design has significance and weight. Harold Gillman’s best picture here, the interior of a fruit market, is a beautiful harmony in greens, whilst Charles Ginner expresses the greyness of things in a fine painting of Leeds Canal. Mark Gertler shows two intoxications of colour which we are sure were painted in the true spirit of joie de vivre. One piece of sculpture alone is on view, and that by C.R.W. Nevinson.
For the nation – A marble statue by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska has recently been presented to the South Kensington Museum, together with a number of this sculptors drawings.
Frederick Porter, a young painter at present residing in London and a New Zealander by birth, is a colourist of considerable merit. Porter studied at the Academy Julian in Paris from 1907 to 1910. He has also painted with success the landscape of Barbizon, particularly Moret, made famous through the paintings of Tisely, and he has painted for some time in Etaples. In 1911 Porter came to London, where he has exhibited on several occasions at the London Salon. Here his work received considerable attention from discriminating critics, and as he is still a young man and intensely serious, we may expect to find augmented interest in his new work.
Two cartoons, entitled “A Place in the Sun” and “A Controller of Traffic” by Will Dyson, have been purchased by the Felton Bequest for the Melbourne National Gallery.
Randolph Schwabe – Head of an Old Woman
Christopher R. W. Nevinson – Bursting Shell, 1915
Artists on show:
William Ratcliffe – The Old Mill Charles Ginner – The Angel, Islington Adrian Paul Allinson – Casino de Paris Adrian Paul Allinson – Mauve and Green Christopher R. W. Nevinson – The Bridge at Marseilles William Ratcliffe – The Mill Stream William Bernard Adeney – The Spruce William Ratcliffe – Interior William Bernard Adeney – The Road through Woods Mark Gertler – Swing Boat William Bernard Adeney – Man and Horse Charles Ginner – From Trinidad Thérèse Lessore – An Old Woman Stanisława de Karłowska – White Paintings Thérèse Lessore – The Cyclist Stanisława de Karłowska – Still life Harold Gilman – Portrait Harold Gilman – Interior Harold Gilman – Still Life Adrian Paul Allinson – Queen´s Hall Stanisława de Karłowska – Woodlands Horace Brodzky – The Little Mourner Christopher R. W. Nevinson – A Deserted Trench Thérèse Lessore – King Street Robert Polhill Bevan – A Hillside, Devon John Northcote Nash – Pine Woods Horace Brodzky – Portrait Mary Godwin – The Bedroom Mary Godwin – Fish Walter Taylor – Brighton Walter Taylor – The Boat House Randolph Schwabe – Mrs. Randolph Schwabe Paul Nash – Tree Tops Paul Nash – A Sunset Paul Nash – Moonrise over Orchard Paul Nash – Tryon´s Garden Mary Godwin – Ways and Means Douglas Fox Pitt – Brighton Front Douglas Fox Pitt – Shoreham Randolph Schwabe – Portrait Charles Ginner – Surrey Landscape John Northcote Nash – Landscape John Northcote Nash – Steam Ploughing Horace Brodzky – Expulsion Sylvia Gosse – Versailles Sylvia Gosse – The Toilet Sylvia Gosse – Busch Bilderbogen Sylvia Gosse – The Answer that turneth away Wrath Sylvia Gosse – Sussex Meadows Randolph Schwabe – Landscape in Devonshire William Bernard Adeney – Dividing Roads William Bernard Adeney – House and Trees Thérèse Lessore – The Canal Bridge Stanisława de Karłowska – The Lane Stanisława de Karłowska – From an Upper Window Mary Godwin – Still Life Mary Godwin – Ewelme Alms House Robert Polhill Bevan – The Corner House Robert Polhill Bevan – Tattersall´s Harold Gilman – My Lonely Bed Thérèse Lessore – The Confectioner´s Shop Adrian Paul Allinson – Cotswolds, Spring Walter Taylor – Interior Charles Ginner – The Timber Yard, Leeds Charles Ginner – Crown Point, Leeds John Northcote Nash – Threshings John Northcote Nash – Woods Adrian Paul Allinson – Still Life Horace Brodzky – Decoration Horace Brodzky – Cefalu Mark Gertler – Fruit Stall William Ratcliffe – London Douglas Fox Pitt – In the Dome, Brighton
In search of some eye-catching imagery to boost morale surrounding US involvement in WWI, the US military commissioned the English-born photographer Arthur Mole and his assistant John Thomas to make a series of extraordinary group portraits. Between 1915 and 1921, with the dutiful help of thousands of servicemen and staff from various US military camps, the duo produced around thirty of the highly patriotic images, which Mole labelled “living photographs”.
Mole (1889-1983) was born in Lexden, a suburb of Colchester, Essex but when he was 14 years old his family emigrated to America, where he became a citizen. He became a commercial and portrait photographer, came up with the idea of human photographs. These required the construction of a tower for the camera to be placed on and then with a megaphone Mole and his assistant John Thomas would move the troops into picture formation.
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – The Human American Eagle, 12,500 Men
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – The Statue of Liberty, 18,000 Men
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – 27th Division Insignia, 10,000 Men
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – US Shield, 30,000 Men
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – Liberty Bell, 25,000 Men
Arthur Mole and John Thomas – WW1 Horse Memorial, 650 Men
Here are two more, I think they are by Mole, but I am not sure.
This is a book from 1964, of children playing on the streets. The photos are by Julia Trevelyan Oman and the text (designed to read like observed opinions) was by Bryan Stanley Johnson. The whole thing reminds me of the Mass Observation movement of the 1930s. It is curious to see the streets of what I can only assume is East London and the children looking happy enough finding ways to entertain themselves. It also brought to mind this video called Through the Hole in the Wall.
History is full of artists that made amazing works and were forgotten, often in the case of women artists they studied, worked and then ceased painting when they got married. I don’t know if this happened to Peggy Rutherford or not, but she is mentioned in various reports and papers in clippings and periodicals in the 1930s, most notably from Apollo Magazine in 1931 she was mentioned as deserving ‘special praise’ for her painting ‘The Purple Magnolia’. Rutherford had a studio flat in Fitzroy Street in London. From an artistic family her aunt was Maud Rutherford who married George Hall-Neale, both portrait painters.
Rutherford studied at the Grosvenor School Of Modern Art under Iain Macnab and alongside Rachel Reckitt and Suzanne Cooper. It is clear that she favoured flower paintings and many of the works here from the 30s have a strong Bloomsbury influence as well. The Grosvenor School was a private British art school and gave the country some of the best inter-war avant garde artists; they nurtured the talents of the some of the most talented women students, Suzanne Cooper, Rachel Reckitt, Alison Mckenzie, Sybil Andrews, Lill Tschudi, Ethel Spowers, Eveline Syme and Dorrit Black to name a few. Some like Rutherford have been less documented than others.
Peggy Rutherford exhibited at the Society of Women Artists, National Society of Painters, Sculptors & Printmakers, (1936) at the Royal Academy with a watercolour called ‘Flower-piece’ (1936). She is in the correspondence of John Piper, and lived at New Malden and Chelmsford.
Here is the link to the pictures I am selling this Christmas in the Cambs Antique Centre. The shop should be open every day, but in these times who knows, but, if in doubt, please call 01223 356391 or email me.
In 1930, two couples, Henry & Irina Moore (married in 1929), and John Skeaping & Barbara Hepworth (married in 1923) holidayed together at Church Farm, Blacksmiths Lane, Happisburgh, on the Norfolk Coast. The holiday was intended as a working one and it was hoped the time in a new location might help Skeaping / Hepworth marriage, but it did not.
In 1931 Hepworth met Ben Nicholson and later invited him and his wife Winifred Roberts to join them on another trip with the letter below:
I enclose a photo of the farm – the colour is very lovely. The country is quite flat but for a little hill with a tall flint church and a lighthouse… The beach is a ribbon of palesand as far as the eye can see. The Moore’s and ourselves should be so pleased if you came… If you can get away the farm will be less full the first week we are there – 9 Sep – 16 Sep †
Winifred was looking after their three children (Jake, Kate and Andrew) and stayed with her family in Boothby, Cumbria, while Ben went to the farmhouse. The Skeaping / Hepworth marriage hadn’t resolved itself and divorce had been spoken of before the holiday, so at first John Skeaping stayed in London. On changing his mind to join his wife in Norfolk, he found she had fallen in love with Ben Nicholson. The next week into the holiday they were joined by Ivon Hitchens and Mark and Douglas Jenkins.
(left to right) Ivon Hitchens, Irina Moore, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Mary Jenkins, Happisburgh in Norfolk, 1931. Mary’s husband Douglas took the photograph.
Left: Ben Nicholson and Ivon Hitchens Right: Henry Moore carrying stone
Ben Nicholson with camera
Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, by the Church Farm Gate, 1932
Skeaping divorced his wife in two years later. But it wasn’t until 1938 that the Nicholsons got a divorce. In 1932 Hepworth found herself pregnant with Nicholson’s issue, she gave birth to triplets: Rachel, Sarah, and Simon. This would mean Ben Nicholson was the father of six children by two women.
The rest of the photos are taken in 1932 and show the fashion for naked bathing and games. I am sure one day a scriptwriter will turn what must have been an emotionally tense holiday into a screenplay.
† A nest of gentle artists in the 1930s Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson, 2009
Looking in magazines during the First World War, there were adverts from tailors to domestic products all taking on a patriotic flare, as well as appeals for money to help various charities. There isn’t a great deal to say about it all, other than it looks to be profiteering somehow. The child above in the Pears soap advert looks to be sitting on a coffin with wreaths, very odd.
As the years go on the adverts become a little bit more distressing, the advert for Pears’ Soap again just is bizarre, I can’t help but think of the mothers who couldn’t afford it and wondered if they were letting their sons down after they had been slaughtered.
Good-bye dear, off to get blown up by the Germans, You won’t forget to send me some Wright’s Coal Tar Soap.
The charity adverts here also seem remarkably bossy. Have you helped yet?
The Samaritan Free Hospital was for Women and they found themselves with less funding.