I introduced Henson as a current photographer who has had his work and himself criticized for dealing with young people
I have just read bits of Marr's book "The Henson Case" and the school model scouting expedition is referred to on page 108 for those who want detal
I do not consider Henson's work pornography (the term etymologically referring to the depiction of whores) as it is boring - As pornography these days generally means that which will excite the libido and as nothing boring can excite, Hensons pix are by definition not pornographic, but there are those who get off looking at pictures of big trucks
The point that skimming Marr's book has reminded me of is the legion of really weird people who rant and scream about the depiction of naked children and youths, in the Henson case it was the journalist Miranda Devine, the former Australian cabinet minister KRudd, (the one who threw a hissy fit and left USA yesterday) and the utterly revolting Hetty Johnston, that woman is too much of a zealot to be safe
How does this link to the first subject - Part of the "collateral damage" in tis case was a photograph by Melbourne photographer Polixeni Papapetrou, of a young girl child called Olympia posed against a painted backdrop and titled "Olympia as Lewis Carroll's Beatrice Hatch before White Cliffs"
I could continue, but will wait to see if these observations develop the thread or are forgotten as a digression
John, who should be working in the garden
Isn't it interesting how much volume of traffic this topic attracted in such a short space of time?
Well, a couple of thoughts:
1. Someone said something about "this guy's behaviour seeing off alarm bells". I haven't seen any evidence that anyone has knowledge of his behaviour. Most of what I'm seeing is people here imputing "behaviour" from other information. If you can't/haven't observed it, it isn't behaviour. You might surmise, but you might be wrong, and you have no proof or this debate wouldn't emerge again and again.
2. There seems to be a tipping point for many posters here where evidence suddenly becomes, not just inappropriate but deviant. There is no middle ground with some people. I haven't noticed anyone talking about an obsessive trait in his personality or maybe a "crush" on a pretty young girl. Such things were more common in his day than we usually hear about. The Edwardians were not prudes. The Victorians were. Being obsessive or having a crush is not necessarily the required proof to brand someone as a pedophile.
Yes, it is. That is not my favorite. That "beggar girl" look was popular by many Victorian photographers. A bit cliche if you ask me.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
Well, that seems to be an issue that is not unique to him. Some others of the same era were equally inattentive to surrounds. I speculate (my personally owned opinion) that the "sloppiness" was a function of two things: the complexity of photography in those days, and the complexity of orchestrating the allegorical scenes. There was a lot to think about and it is not clear that these images were produced in a manner to be "picture perfect"... meaning publication or award-winning quality. Ohter Victorian photographers were definitely interested in sales. I'm not sure that Carrol/Dodgson was so motivated.
Originally Posted by Ross Chambers
Do you have data or behavioural observations to support that statement? :laugh:
Originally Posted by Leigh Youdale
Photography leaves a legacy, an unavoidable circumstance all photographers should be aware of. In Carroll's case, he wrote some rather disturbing letters exhorting the family to have Alice pose for him. So he left a written record as well as the photos. He didn't need the money, so another motive is clear from the letters themselves.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
Did he molest her? Probably not. Did he have a fetish. Certainly. Is this using today's ethical framework to unfairly judge a person who lived a long time ago in an era of different morality? Let's just say that Alice's mother was obviously concerned about Carroll's attentions. It is crystal clear in the letters that his attentions were found objectionable, but the family of Alice was in a dilemma as to how to treat this famous peer without losing face and hard-won prestige in an era where that was the prevailing social currency. Carroll's manipulations to get Alice to pose is largely based on him throwing his fame around, utilizing fear of shame by the family by turning down a famous man. He threw his weight around.
So what if he cannot defend himself? The evidence is quite incriminating as to his objectionable, sexually charged behaviour towards a young girl. He left the evidence in his own hand. It is simple logic that defending yourself is impossible from the grave, so what physical or written record of your life will be the historical testimony. His is a cautionary tale for both subject and photographer alike.
I've got a number of images in my collection that support this logic. I have a photo from the Tom Thumb wedding, taken by Mathew Brady, where Tom Thumb is squished off to the left side of the image. It's a very odd composition until you think that the goal must have been to show Lavinia Warren's dress in its entirety.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
Another odd one is an Alexander Gardner image - WHY did he leave the head clamp sitting in the corner, instead of pulling in a little closer?
It's not like these two gentlemen were random itinerant photographers who learned their craft from a 99 cent correspondence course. They were some of the pre-eminent photographers of the Victorian era.
There are now about four references in this thread to these letters. I have never read letter from Dodgson to Mrs. Liddell. Clearly, if I wish to express further opinion on the matter, I must do so.
Originally Posted by Aristophanes
Please can you (or BrianShaw) post a link to them on the web or tell us where we can access these letters?
I have searched for them but at the moment I haven't found them.
Nobody ever accused him of impropriety when he was alive. This is all quite posthumous and pointless, and despite what those who just cant stand not knowing would have us think, his dead intentions, crimes, impure thoughts, motives and fetishes are not knowable.