Trans. Status:

Photograph of a reclining nude

ID Number: 2015.0221.2
Title: Photograph of a reclining nude
Item Status: Permanent Collection     Legal Status: Permanent Collection
Object Name: later prints
gelatin silver prints
contact prints
Collection Type: Photography
Artist/Maker: Bellocq, Ernest J., 1873-1949 (photographer) -- More information
Friedlander, Lee, b. 1934 (printer) -- More information
Date: modern print, printed from an original glass plate negative from 1911-1913
Process/Technique: gelatin silver process
Materials: photographic gelatin
photographic paper
silver (metal)
Dimensions: 18 1/4 x 20 1/4 inches
Object Description Photographic print depicting a reclining, masked nude woman on floral print sofa or day bed. The print was made by Lee Friedlander from Bellocq's original negative.
Label Text: Storyville: Madams and Music 2017-04-05
Reclining nude prostitute
negative, ca. 1912; gelatin silver print, after 1970
by Ernest J. Bellocq, photographer; Lee Friedlander, photographic printer
gift of Gary Hendershott, 2015.0221.2
The New Orleans photographer Ernest J. Bellocq (1873-1949) appears to have been most active from about 1900 until about 1920. As a commercial photographer, his subjects included buildings, boats, and industrial machinery, but he is known for his photographs of Storyville's prostitutes, two examples of which are shown here, though none of them bear his name. A verbal provenance provided by people who knew Bellocq has become the basis for attributing the pictures to him.
In the 1950s, following his death, a cache of nearly one hundred glass negatives depicting women (both clothed and nude), along with a few interior views, were found among Bellocq's belongings. The negatives--some broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged--were acquired in 1966 by New York photographer Lee Friedlander. Friedlander was a frequent visitor to New Orleans who came to listen to jazz and photograph jazz musicians. He eventually printed the negatives using methods and materials common in Bellocq's time. Through museum and gallery exhibitions and a book, the photographs became widely known.
Though Bellocq's residences and studio locations, as noted in city directories, were near Storyville, they were not within its boundaries. Just how he came to make the photographs is unclear, but the casual look of the surroundings and the sense of confidence exuded by the subjects, along with the lack of evidence of widespread publishing, suggest this group of pictures had motives that were more personal than commercial.
Extent: 1 item
Acq. Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Gary Hendershott
Collection Theme(s): Women
Subjects: Storyville District (New Orleans, La.)
Condition: Good
Other Number: Tracking Number T150414.344.2

Simple Search | Advanced Search