hi, i’m back! i have a mass of photos to work through from our trip to Tanzania, but you can check out what i have posted so long on Instagram. while i was away i realised that the U.S. was also on a holiday of sorts, and so in the spirit of the 4th of July i thought i’d share this cool collection of vintage photographs from the 70s by Flip Schulke.
not to be confused with National Geographic’s own tumblr, Vintage National Geographic instead features scanned in pages from vintage copies of National Geographic going back to the 1800’s. you’ll recognise that familiar halftone printing look that jumps off these old clippings, and it’s almost like you can smell the pile of old magazines that you used to page through at grandma’s house.
i bet the people who took photos decades ago never thought their every day snaps would wind up on some “blog” being pored over by random strangers from the future. i wonder if our own photographs are heading in the same direction? our lives are so well documented now that at least no one will ever wonder who we were. but i do wonder what the stories behind the photographs on Global Pillage are, a blog compiled by Pete Mauney with an impressive collection of imagery by mostly unknown authors.
i found these images while trawling around the LIFE archives, with no explanation as to who took them, when, or where. i’m guessing this was sometime in the twenties or thirties? and it looks like it might have been somewhere in Europe – originally i thought maybe they were Swedes, but that old school Nivea Creme tin made me wonder if they were German. well, looks like they had a pretty good time either way.
if you live in London or you’ve visited there any time in the past 4 months you should already have gone to see the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition that’s currently showing at the Tate. if you haven’t, then i’m reminding you to. why? because i can’t go. do it for me! take a pic and tag me on Instagram! i would LOVE that. it’s only on for another 2 weeks or so, so you’d better go.
today i was preparing to do a follow up to my Bygone Cape Town post from a few years back (be sure to check it out) when i went down a rabbit hole and discovered, to my delight, the archives of Bobby Graham whose father took photos of ordinary people in Cape Town from 1959 to 1963. by the end of it i had the biggest grin on my face, he really had a gift for capturing the natural sense of a person. thanks to his daughter for uploading & sharing.
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!
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.
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).
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.