life archives

Jackie in India, 1962

i know there are mountains upon mountains of imagery of Jackie Kennedy all over the internet, but i actually hadn’t seen these pics of her visit to India before, so i thought i’d share. she looks happy and colourful, accompanied by her sister Lee Radziwill. there’s even a video about her trip at the JFK Library. photos courtesy of Life.

Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India
Jackie in India

5

Medical Art School

this series of images that i discovered in the LIFE archives fascinated me because up until that point i had never even thought that such a thing as a “medical art school” would exist. but of course, yes. i’m just grateful that more gory things weren’t documented. if i wanted to see that i would just switch on my TV (Outlander and The Knick, i’m looking at you).

Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School
Medical Art School

8

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

10

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

12

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

21

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.

1

Miami Beach, 1940

ok first of all, i have to draw your attention to the magnificent platform shoes that these ladies are wearing – in 1940. 1940! i always seem to mistake it for a bit of a fuddy duddy decade (well maybe it was for the majority of the population), but i’m continuously amazed by how fashion-forward some women were, especially when it came to wearing beautiful tailored suits (something that seemed to go out of fashion for most of the 50s and 60s? vintage lovers will have to chime in here, i don’t know much about vintage fashion besides watching a whole lot of Mad Men). you obviously won’t miss their fabulous glasses in this shoot, either. maybe Miami just does something to people.

photos taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Miami Beach, 1940 for Life Magazine. graphic by me.















22

Mark Shaw

you’re probably familiar with the work of fashion & celebrity photographer Mark Shaw, who was especially well known for his collection of photographs of the Kennedys. he shot over 100 stories in his 16 year career with LIFE magazine in the 1950s & 60s, and was one of the first photographers who documented backstage fashion at couture shows like Balmain and Balenciaga. if you’re feeling flush you can buy limited edition original prints of his work from the Andrew Wilder gallery. Here are some of my favourite stories he covered.

Audrey Hepburn

Portraits for LIFE Magazine of Hepburn while filming Sabrina. This entire shoot had lingered forgotten for more than fifty years in a box at the home of Mark’s first wife and were rediscovered in 2008. Initially Audrey Hepburn did all she could to avoid Mark Shaw’s cameras. When she realized they shared intense devotion to their work, she began to treat him like a member of the family.

Jackie Kennedy & family

These images were taken for an assignment from LIFE magazine about Jackie Kennedy which ran in 1959 while JFK was making his White House run. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Mark Shaw worked extensively as the “unoffical” family photographer to Jackie and John F. Kennedy.

Coco Chanel

Chanel was quoted at the time as saying that “Shaw had crept as close to her as anyone is likely to get with their LEICA on”. Shaw’s informal, grainy, black and white images of Chanel were captured using an unobtrusive 35 mm camera and film processing methods that enabled him to eliminate all other photographic equipment. The result is a highly personal and intimate look into a day in the life of this iconic woman.

Various artists – PicassoChagall, Fernand Leger & Miro

backstage at Balmain, 1954

various fashion editorials photographed in St. Tropez, Paris, Portofino

26