What draws me to photography is the incredible history and memories behind them. A snapshot in time. Here are ten of my favourite photographs throughout some of history as we know it. More to follow!
Marilyn Monroe working out in 1952
Marilyn Monroe at the Bel Air Hotel in LA, photographed by Andre de Dienes. She was one of the first Hollywood stars to use weights for working out. The image was used in an article for the September 1952 issue of Pageant magazine called “How I Stay in Shape”.
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney, 1957
Dali and Disney were both fans of each other’s work decided to create a film together. Destino was storyboarded by Disney studio artist John Hench and artist Salvador Dalí for eight months in late 1945 and 1946; however, production ceased not long after. The two remained friends. In 2003 parts of the film were put together and the short
I first discovered that they were friends when I visited the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco in 2015. There was an entire section dedicated to Destino.
The construction of the Statue of Liberty, France c.1875
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the people of the United States. It was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. I love this image as it is the construction of such an American icon that remains a symbol of freedom and unity.
Frida Kahlo in her studio painting Portrait of My Father, 1951
In 1950, photographer Gisèle Freund went on a two-week trip to Mexico. However, she didn’t leave until two years later.
This was when she met Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and was welcomed into their home. Freund immersed herself in the couple’s everyday lives and the artistic diversity of the country, taking hundreds of photographs. The images which are among the last taken just before Kahlo’s death, truly display Frida’s beauty and talent.
This image is a particular favourite as it has a feeling of sensitivity and compassion to it.
Grand Central Station, New York, 1930s
Taken by Hal Morey this image is given a range of dates. However, most people can agree it was in the 1930s. There are a tonne of images like this around the same era, however, this is my favourite. Sadly, this type of image will never exist again as the buildings and skyscrapers surrounding Grand Central block out the sunlight.
The Moulin Rouge, Paris, the early 1900s
In the 1900s, Albert Kahn, a French banker, took on a photography project. This was known as The Archives of the Planet. In 1909, he commissioned four photographers (Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier and Auguste Leon) to take their cameras all around the world and take colour photographs.Starting in 1914, Kahn’s photographers began documenting daily life in Paris.
As many of you may know, Moulin Rouge is one of my favourite musicals of all time. I also have this windmill tattooed on my wrist, so how can I not love this photograph?
Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin, 1931
Two great icons together at the movie premiere for Chaplin’s City Lights in 1931. Apparently, Chaplin told Einstein, “People cheer me because they all understand me, and they cheer you because nobody understands you.”
The Whispering Gallery, London, 1950
A whispering gallery is most simply a circular wall which allows whispers to be carried across it. The sound is carried by waves, known as whispering-gallery waves, that travel around the circumference clinging to the walls, an effect that was discovered in the whispering gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral in London where this image was taken.
Hippies in the 1970s
Hippy culture has always interested me. I even dressed up as a hippy for my year-7 dress up competition with flowers in my hair and a little guitar. But as I grew older I learnt that the 1970s hippy culture stood for a lot more than just saying, “Peace, man.” It was about freedom, choice and being at one with nature. A culture I still have a great interest in and love seeing photographs of.
Women feeding seagulls on motorcycles in Florida, 1968
I don’t know what to say about this photograph other than isn’t it awesome and so, so weird? These women clearly just fancied a ride to Daytona Beach, Florida where they could feed the birds and catch some rays.