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View Full Version : What was that style of photography? Early 1900's.



DannL
08-09-2009, 01:11 PM
A question to the art experts. You'll know the style of photography as I procede to describe it's basic characteristics. I am looking back historically for some photographers who did this type of (fashion, or Art Deco style???) of photography in the earliest part of the 20th century.

1. Most likely from 1900-1929
2. Probably German, or maybe American in origin
3. Art Deco, maybe Art Nouveau??
4. The entire composition is based in front of a large blank wall.
5. Lighting is somewhat subdued and directional across the subject.
6. A woman dressed in white airy flowing dress. Possibly semi-transparent material.
7. She is arched backward in almost a perfect arch.
8. One or both hands may be raised above her in a ballet type manuever.
9. There are scenes in the movie Metropolis that fit into the style I am describing.

10: Added: Sometimes the subject might hold a globe or object raised in one hand.

I believe this type of photography was created as art only. I can try to be more descriptive if required. Many thanks in advance. Dann

Tony Egan
08-09-2009, 09:53 PM
In terms of art and design movements I thought of Bauhaus but not sure the images you describe fit that criteria. Anyway, the following might give you a few names to investigate further.
http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?tid=5810&ttype=2

Nikanon
08-09-2009, 09:59 PM
Pictorialism?

sun of sand
08-09-2009, 10:26 PM
that is very specific!
That is its own movement?

Why not make up your own name for it
there isn't any rule saying you can't

sun of sand
08-09-2009, 10:57 PM
maybe you're talking about avant-garde
though I don't know you can say avant-garde belongs to ONE specific era or even a very precise style like you've described

Seems the best fitting to me and how I'd describe avant-garde
a page of it here I found with both more modern and classic examples
http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f52/jennifer-pugh-8809-97.html

DannL
08-09-2009, 11:00 PM
In terms of art and design movements I thought of Bauhaus but not sure the images you describe fit that criteria. Anyway, the following might give you a few names to investigate further.
http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?tid=5810&ttype=2

Thank you Tony. I had completely lost track of László Moholy-Nagy and your reference relocated him. That was a name I just couldn't remember.
I didn't find anything there that would trigger a "yes, that's it". I could be way off as far as origin, also. This may is have been Hollywood thing from the 20's. But, I thought I saw at least one book for a german photographer doing this type of work in the 20's. Just wait, in the end I'll be incorrect on every account.


Pictorialism?

I'm fairly familiar with Pictorial photography. I don't think it fits that style. Soft focus is probably not a foremost characteristic. I found a photo on the web by Steichen.

http://luciaadverse.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/steichen7.jpg

It's similar in some ways. The clothing, hair style. Not exactly what/who I'm after. Does this genre of photography have a name or specific time period?

sun of sand
08-09-2009, 11:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_jZbcykhpM

Thought that was neat and to me this is avant-garde ..and shares similarities with your description eventhough certainly no people or arms or ballet
if you ask me
Whether someone wants to call something this or that or avant-garde or not
I don't think it matters
Seems you just have a certain word on your tongue you cant spit out so hopefully gets it

sun of sand
08-09-2009, 11:25 PM
I figured you'd post a photo like that one/hurrellesque
To me
that's avant-garde
stylized soft or fashion or glamour or bauhaus or expressionist
I just don't think it's able to be defined/pigeonholed that way

DannL
08-09-2009, 11:38 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_jZbcykhpM

Thought that was neat and to me this is avant-garde ..and shares similarities with your description eventhough certainly no people or arms or ballet
if you ask me
Whether someone wants to call something this or that or avant-garde or not
I don't think it matters
Seems you just have a certain word on your tongue you cant spit out so hopefully gets it

You're most likely correct. I'm assuming that if I can determine the name associated with this style, I might be able to locate some of the photographers associated with the style. It may have no name at all, and I'll have to seek out individual images first, and then their creators. :confused:

Jerevan
08-10-2009, 02:25 AM
I am not sure her style fits all of the above requirements, but Ilse Bing comes to mind.

Tony Egan
08-10-2009, 06:55 AM
George Hoyningen Huene is probably the closest I could think of as an "art deco" photographer. There is one image below that comes close to what you described. I also thought of the the Rolls Royce hood ornament "the spirit of ecstasy" after reading your description! I think it would date to the same period.
http://www.wornthrough.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/vionnet.jpg

p.s. then there is Horst P Horst who came a little after HH

Michael W
08-10-2009, 08:32 AM
Yeah, I'd look at Horst P Horst & also Cecil Beaton from that era. Camp glamour fashion photography, not sure if it had a name.

cowanw
08-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Edwin Hesser, Murray and Cheney johnston might fit you bill

http://broadway.cas.sc.edu/broadwayPhotographs/1126008512HesserBessie.Love.jpg

DannL
08-10-2009, 11:40 AM
Thanks to everyone for the your thoughts on this impossible mission. All the suggestions thus far have really helped. I do think that a number of Hoyningen-Huene shots at the following link come very close to what I'm wanting to describe.

http://www.staleywise.com/collection/huene/huene.html

Some appear to stand out . . .
http://www.staleywise.com/collection/huene/huene_5.html
http://www.staleywise.com/collection/huene/huene_divers.html
http://www.staleywise.com/collection/huene/huene_4.html
http://www.staleywise.com/collection/huene/huene_3.html

Maybe "1920's-1930's Glam-Fashion in front of big wall using directional lighting" would be a good name for it. :D I didn't think much about it until today, but Ian would surely want to strangle me for bring up the subject of styles. I'd probably deserve a good throttling on that account.

DannL
08-17-2009, 11:10 AM
Persistance meets with success.

I believe I can put a proper name to the this type of photography. It's not a style of photography as I had originally thought. It's simply the subject of the photographs, which in this case turns out to be Dance and Modern Dance. And more specifically, Dance and Modern Dance from the late 1800's and early twentieth century. One notable photographer in this area would have been Arnold Genthe, who's "The Book of the Dance" even goes as far as to depict the Bubble Dance mentioned earlier. Now that was a lucky find. I had seen these types of images many years ago.

http://www.google.com/books?id=R1NN8XJe3w0C&pg=PP7#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Thanks to all for the suggestions and help provided on this daunting puzzle. I can now search out other photographers who worked in this area.

Nicholas Lindan
08-17-2009, 11:55 AM
Ode on a Grecian Urn?

http://www.whidbeydup.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/ruth_st-denis_grecian_urn.jpg.w180h261.jpg

I think it was called the 'pretentious school' of art. Beloved of Bertie Wooster...

John Koehrer
08-17-2009, 08:12 PM
Now ya done it.
Here's a coupla books to check out.
L'Amour fou/ Photography and Surrealism ISBN 0-89659-576-5 by Rosalind Krauss and Jane Livingston

The Nude in Czech Photography ISBN 80-86217-35-3 BY Vladimir Birgus and Jan MLcoch

Czech Photographic Avant-Garde 1918-1948 By Vladimir Birgus ISBN 0-262-02516-7

A Photographer who may show up in one of these is Dritikol(sp) Who did a lot with Art Moderne shapes & figure.