Vintage

Vintage Ballet

i watched the series City Ballet, which was produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, all in one sitting when it was released. it’s really enthralling, and a world that only a few really understand (watching Black Swan does not count). every now and then i’ll dip into an episode while i’m eating lunch at my desk. watch it!

here are some vintage ballerinas from the Life Magazine archives.

Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet
Vintage Ballet

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Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats

when i was a kid i did ballet (which was short lived) and modern dancing. i was not good at either, but it was one of the few extra-mural exercise focused activities that i didn’t totally hate, and even though i have never been the most athletic person i at least had some rhythm (more so when i have had a few drinks – granted) so i just kept doing it cause it was fun. at some point it became no fun, mostly because the other girls were simply better than me, and my modern dancing teacher remarked that i was “the most inflexible person she’s ever taught”. which, as a kid, STUNG. i can barely touch my knees, let alone my toes, so yeah i am completely fucking inflexible – you don’t need to tell me that, lady!

anyway all those memories came streaming back when i saw these pictures taken by Hans Wild for LIFE Magazine at a school for acrobats, Gymnase Saulnier, in Paris, 1947. i haven’t been able to find any more information on it, but i am assuming the instructor is one Monsieur Saulnier. i bet he would have done something about my inflexibility instead of chiding me for it (okay, maybe a little bit of chiding). if anyone can shed any light on these photos, please do!

edit: Thank you to Sophie for finding out more information! she commented,

Le Père Saulnier was called the “girls breaker” because he was really strict with his students. You can see that the front door in the last picture is still in Paris, it’s in the 16 rue Véron. I found this information on this website (in french). They say that the main actress learn gym with him ! (and that this film is terrible, except for the gym part…)

Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats
Gymnase Saulnier, School for Acrobats

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Girl Pilots

here are some bad-ass women to inspire you this Friday, who flew in the face of convention (pardon the pun) and trained as airforce pilots in 1943. despite the magazine describing them thusly, “girls are very serious about their chance to fly for the Army, even when it means giving up nail polish, beauty parlours and dates for a regimented 33 weeks.” can you even. you can read the original article in LIFE magazine here.

photos by Peter Stackpole for Life Magazine in 1943.

Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots Girl Pilots

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Spring in LA, 1944

i have been hearing grumblings around the internet that it’s HOT in LA at the moment. i can’t help but be a little smug, because on this side of the world we are experiencing optimal autumn weather. sunny, but cold, with the occasional rain shower… I LOVE IT. i think that LA is quite similar to Cape Town weather wise, so perhaps we have just directly swapped seasons. well, you guys can enjoy your boiling hot days for the time being.

Anton and i have been threatening to visit dear friends in LA, so maybe one day i will make my way over there (it’s just SO FAR from here). i don’t know where these specific photos were taken, but they are from LIFE magazine in 1944, by Peter Stackpole. the gals look like they are having a great time, either way. anyone have an idea of the location?

Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944 Spring in LA, 1944

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Circus Girls

looking through these photos made me realise that you have to be damn tough to be a Circus Girl. these were taken in 1949 by Nina Leen for LIFE.

Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949
Circus Girls, 1949

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LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs

i haven’t delved into the vast LIFE magazine archives in a while, so it was a pleasure to discover this amusing article showing “six healthy girls” from a Hollywood modeling agency visiting Arrowhead Springs in California in 1948.

Although they are naturally blessed with plenty of sunshine and cheap orange juice, Californians are notorious for their eagerness to find new ways of keeping healthy. Dotting the state are dozens of spas and resorts which advertise salutary baths, colonic treatments and curative waters. One of the flossiest of these is the Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel, perched in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, 65 miles east of Los Angeles. Recently six healthy girls from the Dorothy Preble model agency in Hollywood visited Arrowhead for a healthy holiday weekend. During their stay they boiled eggs in the hot springs, were daubed with Arrowhead mud, basked in underground steam caves and lolled in warm mineral baths containing traces of rare salts.

check out pics of the hotel, including that pool. original LIFE article here.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

Models kid themselves and the stiffly affected postures of their trade beside the scalloped, palm-bordered pool near the hotel. Their boss, Mrs Preble, remains unimpressed.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

Elisabeth Kellogg displays a terry-cloth bathing suit. Called a “stunner”, it is more practical for sunning than for swimming.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.
LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

The girls boil their eggs in the “world’s hottest spring”.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.
LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.
LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

Frolicking in the salutary waters of hot mineral baths at Arrowhead Hot Springs Hotel.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

A mock fashion show is put on by Elisabeth Kellogg. Holding a flower for a prop, she parodies one of the stilted stances she is paid to use on work days.

LIFE visits Arrowhead Springs, 1948.

A pillow fight breaks out after breakfast, which the models had served in bed.

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Vintage Black Glamour

Nichelle Gainour, a journalist who blogs and writes for various online and offline publications, owns a tumblr called Vintage Black Glamour that has progressed into a book, launching in June. the tumblr is unique in that it’s not just pictures pictures pictures, something i find quite frustrating about themed tumblrs in general. she talks about the subjects in the photographs at length, something that i really appreciate in the land of the never ending out-of-context image (aka the internet).

i love this image of Loïs Mailou Jones, an artist who studied at Harvard and Columbia, pictured in her Parisian studio. there are many more where that came from – i suggest you delve into the archives.

Using rarely accessed photographic archives and private collections, Nichelle has unearthed a revealing treasure trove of memorable and iconic images. The book presents historic photographs of famous actors, dancers, writers and entertainers who worked in the 20th-century entertainment business, but who rarely appeared in the same publications as their white counterparts. With its stunning photographs and insightful biographies, this book is a hugely important addition to Black history archives.

pre-order the book here. the images in this post are both from the book and the tumblr.

Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour Vintage Black Glamour

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Bike Girls

growing up my older brothers had motorbikes, and i thought it was soooooo cool. sometimes they would pick me up from school on one of these tanks and i would feel like like such a bad ass. granted i was not the one steering the motorbike, and i never have had the guts to actually ride one. so whenever i see a woman on a motorbike i think damn, girl. that’s what i thought when i saw these pics of women motorcyclists from 1949, taken by Loomis Dean for Life Magazine. and in an age when it might have been strange to see woman in pants – let alone riding motorbikes – they are pretty bad ass in my book.

images c/o Life Magazine photographed by Loomis Dean.

Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls Bike Girls

 

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