|New York and the (Aspirations, Dreams) Lives of Women: Faith Baldwin|
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
|Warren William: Villain, City Dweller.|
In films, William was best known for playing a ruthless tycoon, a man who seeks money and power; a man who disposes of women easily and heartlessly, the kind of character who "made life his plaything," in the words of a trailer for his 1934 film, Bedside.
Many of his films portray New York City in the 1930s; a portrayal that offers a rather biased view of the metropolis: the city was a jungle, a trap, a den of immorality that dazzles and seems to promise everything, but ultimately only destroys.
Monday, April 3, 2017
|You are Here, Manhattan, 1929. Back Cover of Ex-Wife, Dell paperback edition.|
My husband left me four years ago. Why--I don't precisely understand, and never did. Nor, I suspect, does he. Now, in these waning days of 1929 when the world may be tumbling about our ears, that other catastrophe and its causes are matters equally inconsequential. ~ Ex-Wife, 1929
In 1929, a novel titled Ex-Wife was published by Jonathan Cape publishers. The book, published anonymously, "caught readers' fancy," and made the bestseller list. Many readers were shocked and astonished at the racy story of a woman who, divorced from her "heel" of a husband, takes up relationships with other men, along with a cocktail or two, and even takes up her own career!
She rooms with an artist friend in the Village, attends parties and "first nights" in the city, she shops, she pays attention to her clothes, perfume, and other details, and she loves to find love in the arms of a handsome male friend--RACY!
Who had written such a truly modern story of a young woman in 1920s Manhattan, navigating men, work, and the impact of the "Aspirin Age?"
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Mrs. Pegu, and drawing-room, are all laid out in state to receive New Year's calls. Thirty-two young gentlemen make a brief appearance at the door, and recite the following shibboleth: "How d'ye do, Mrs. Pegu. Happy New Year. Can't stay a minute. Made seventy-six calls this morning; got thirty more to make. Adoo! Adoo!" The young gentlemen vanish, to be succeeded by others.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
|Cardboard Cut-Outs?: The cast of Million Dollar Listing, New York|
Thursday, September 8, 2016
|Dance, Daughters, Dance! 1928|
By the time a young actress danced in front of a three-way mirror and on table tops, shaking her body as her bobbed hair bobbed and her scandalously short skirt swayed up and down, the dance known as the "Shimmy" was almost a decade old.
This was Joan Crawford in the Academy Award nominated film, Our Dancing Daughters (1928). Crawford epitomized the flapper-dancer-modern-woman of the Jazz era. She may have brought the popular Shimmy dance to the (somewhat respectable) silver screen, but she also tamed it in many ways. The Shimmy had actually emerged a decade earlier, in the months after the end of World War I. And it caused an uproar.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
|Walking, 1956, Saul Leiter, Howard Greenberg Gallery (most of the Leiter images used here are from the same source)|
Thursday, December 24, 2015
|Christmas Card Display: the observed and the observer|
From any recent study of New York the visitor from another planet would conclude that our observance of Christmas consisted chiefly in unusual practice and encouragement of the art of shop-keeping. Broadway and the other shopping streets have been for many days a vast fair, crowded with customers till long past the dinner-hour, and late at night, no doubt, the shopmen went out and bought from each other, for there is no resisting the contagion. When one has bought what he desires, there is a fine pleasure in leisurely strolls through the shopping quarter.
J. E. Learned, "Christmas Streets," New Outlook, December 1892
Late 19th century and early 20th century images depicting Christmas in New York from the Library of Congress collection can be divided (roughly) into two types: those showing activities related tocharities (Salvation Army, soup kitchens, orphanages, et al) and those showing shoppers on the street.
Monday, November 9, 2015
|General Pershing salutes New York|
General Pershing had commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I. He left the United States in June 1917, just months after the U.S. declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917. He would not return for more than two years.
Friday, August 14, 2015
|You must remember this....|
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Hyde was the prototypical dandy of turn-of-the-20th-century New York. His clothes were made in Paris (a city that he loved and visited frequently). He was enormously fond of horses and coaches (and once raced, with Alfred Vanderbilt,--by coach!--from Philadelphia to New York City).
Friday, July 10, 2015
Music Contest Poster, Estelle Levine, Artist, Federal Art Project, Library of Congress
Over the course of just a few golden years, from about 1935 to 1939, in New York City, the work of those artists was visible everywhere, from the theater marquees advertising a production to posters displayed on the streets.
Monday, April 13, 2015
|On Fifth Avenue: A cropped image, c. 1900. (See Full Size Image Here.)|
I spend a lot of time looking through visual archives to find images to use in my research and my design work. One of my favorite archives to peruse is the Library of Congress (LOC). The LOC happens to hold one the best collections of American images: roughly 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies made by the Detroit Publishing Company (DPC).
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
|George: "Mary, Please come with me to New York!"|
(Illustration by Norman Rockwell, 1932)
On April 23, 1789, just one week before being sworn in as the first president of the United States, George Washington and his staff settled into the country's first executive mansion, located at 10 Cherry Street in New York City. For nearly two years, before being moved to Philadelphia, the seat of the U.S. government would be located in New York City; and Manhattan would be home to the President and First Lady. The new nation was just starting to recover from the long years of war, and nowhere was this better in evidence than in Manhattan.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
|"By their banks ye shall know them," Alfred Henry Lewis|
Accompanying the article were images of the Manhattan homes of the "owners."
Sunday, November 16, 2014
|Jack and Jackie Greet New York, 1960|
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
|Time Traveling on the Upper West Side, 1971 (click text here to go to film)|
Take a Walk
New York is made for walking. And it's a city that lends itself to image making, from still photography to home movies. To see the city from a "common" or everyday point of view seems both literally and figuratively quite pedestrian. But with the passage of time, that point of view becomes magical, offering viewers the opportunity to time travel and walk through the streets of Manhattan in another era.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
|The Write Crowd: McInerney, Janowitz, Ellis, 1980s, NYC|
Friday, August 15, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
|Madame Helena Rubinstein|
Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965) was a revolutionary force in the world of beauty. She was an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, and a marketing genius. During a long and successful career that spanned six decades and made her one of the richest women in the world, Rubinstein operated salons all over the world and launched scores of products that were sold globally. She was a magnificent purveyor of the idea that all women can find personal satisfaction through the pursuit of beauty.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
|Marilyn Monroe: The City at Her Feet|
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
|1931: A Dazzling New York Skyline of Architects|
Photo: L-R: A. Stewart Walker (Fuller Building), Leonard Schultze (Waldorf-Astoria), Ely Jacques Kahn (Squibb Building), William Van Alen (Chrysler Building), Ralph Walker (1 Wall Street), D.E.Ward (Metropolitan Tower), Joseph H. Freelander (Museum of New York).
At the Beaux-Arts Ball held in New York City on January 23, 1931, the party was not to be topped...but some of the attendees were!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Guests could not only choose turkey as an entree, but also lamb, lobster, or beef. Sardines, baked grapefruit, and "whipped" potatoes also appeared on the hotel's holiday menu. The Art Deco hotel, located at 481 Eighth Avenue, had opened in 1930.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
|Dustin Hoffman, New York City, 1969: An Actor's Actor. Photo by John Dominis|
In many ways, Dustin Hoffman can be seen as a quintessentially New York actor (despite having been born and raised in California). Many of the films Hoffman made through the late 1960s and 1970s not only captured the American zeitgeist, but also created a portrait of New York City. Hoffman, himself a resident of the city from roughly 1958 until 2002, lived through many changes New York underwent and his films capture those changes.
Monday, July 15, 2013
|Places! Don & Meagan Draper's NYC apartment, c. 1968|
Thursday, June 6, 2013
"By the way, old chap, what do you people do in New York when summer comes?"
"We get out," Miss De Peyster broke in . . . "New York is simply deserted in summer. There is not a soul in town."
Rupert Hughes, The Real New York (1905).
Rupert Hughes, The Real New York (1905).
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
“It is imperative that I should do something for my relief, and I want you to meet me in New York, between the 30th of August and the 5th of September next, to assist me in disposing of a portion of my wardrobe." Mrs. Lincoln to Mrs. Keckley
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|"Bandit's Roost," Richard Hoe Lawrence, c. 1890, Museum of the City of New York|
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
|Greenwich Village View: Rear Window was filmed on a set built at Paramount Studios in LA|
Friday, December 21, 2012
|1862 Illustration from Moore's "A Visit From Saint Nicholas"|
On July 15, 1779, Clement Clark Moore was born in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University in 1798 and went on to enjoy a successful career as a professor. But he is perhaps best known and remembered as the author of "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," commonly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Moore was born and lived in the family home known as the "Chelsea House" at roughly 420 W. 23rd Street (the house later giving the name to the NYC neighborhood).
Monday, December 3, 2012
|Crystal Palace, New York City, Illustrated News, July 30 1853|
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
|The restaurant at Astor's swanky St. Regis Hotel, c. 1905|
"God! The restaurants!
New York has become the Florence of the Sixteenth Century.
Genius on every corner."
-Six Degrees of Separation
"No city in the world is better supplied with restaurants and eating-houses of every kind than New York." This observation in the 1896 edition of Rand McNally and Co's Handy Guide to New York City, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Other Suburbs is true today. The city's reputation as a food lover's paradise is well earned. From street food to fine dining, the available fare reflects the very city itself in its diversity and energy.