Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sepia Saturday 255: 22 November 2014


Alan from Sepia Saturday says:


The title of this old photograph - which comes from the Flickr Commons stream of the National Archives of Estonia - is "Eveline Maydell making a silhouette, with her models. Indianapolis 1931" Eveline Adelheid von Maydell (1890 - 1962) was a German-born silhouette artist who lived in the USA from 1922 onwards. She was described as being ambidextrous : a Milwaukee newspaper article from 1942 said "she sketches and designs with her left hand and with her right snips with minute scissors the silhouettes..." Sepians also need to be ambidextrous - composing words with their left hand whilst assessing old images with their right - and we invite you to contribute all these skills to your contributions for Sepia Saturday 255. 
In May last year I figure I used up just about all my silhouette photos.  But I don't think I've shown you this one.



It's a bit blurred, I know.  But I like the idea behind it.  I think it is an artificial light source that is actually in the fireplace too rather than a real fire. At the McLoughlin family reunion last weekend Mary Ann took the photo around the relatives and it was thought that this might be Vince McLOUGHLIN in the photo and probably one of his brothers.  Older brother Jack ran a professional photo studio in Drummoyne.

I think the photographic studio was called Alva Studios.  It was located at 222 Victoria Road Drummoyne.  Jack's wife Christine, according to cousin Marilyn, was an excellent colourist.  Jack's son Kerry worked for the studio too I understand taking candid photography I think in the street.

I found some advertisements placed by Alva Studios or featuring Alva Studios in the wonderful Trove.

Here are some examples - the Studios were looking for a colourist for quite a while as five ads from January 1948 through to June 1949 demonstrated viz:


courtesy of the National Library of Australia - The Sydney Morning Herald , Saturday 17 January 1948, page 24







Of course one wishes that one still had the silhouette one had as a slip of a girl but tis not to be.  What better way to demonstrate a silhouette than in your bathing suit?  Would I have been so bold as to be photographed for free in a studio though?  I think not.  But Alva Studios was willing to help if you wanted to enter.




courtesy of the National Library of Australia, The Australian Womens Weekly 26 October 1935 page 18

Not many silhouettes when it comes to a studio portrait of your darling baby though in these ads for an Appealing Child contest in the Australian Women's Weekly 4 July 1956 on page 29.  Alva Studios was eager to help you win again.






Or this:


courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Australian Women's Weekly, 5 September 1956, page 57

For more appealing silhouettes go here.

18 comments:

Jo Featherston said...

Babies must have always been a popular and lucrative subject for photographers.

Postcardy said...

I love the Miss Lastex ad. The poses remind me of some postcards I have from the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition that had bathing suit clad modes along with scenes of the exposition--e.g. Rembericng You

Little Nell said...

The lighting in that first picture gives it a painterly quality. I’m reminded of Joseph Wright of Derby’s painting Experiment on a bird in The Air Pump.

Wendy said...

1st Class - No Beginners! I love those high standards at Alva Studios.

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Great take on the theme! Old newspaper and magazine ads give us such an interesting view on how things used to be. I've collected a number of old magazines for just this reason!

La Nightingail said...

A photographic studio producing the winning photo in a contest would gain prestige, so it seems older brother Jack was a smart business man as well as a successful photographer!

Diamant said...

Another word which is changing its meaning over the years. Once done by hand, now done with software on the computer. - boundforoz

Alex Daw said...

I cheerfully confess to having entered my baby Isabel into a Beautiful Baby competition!

Alex Daw said...

I was delighted to find it too. And I do like your one from Chicago. They were heady days I think.

Alex Daw said...

Indeed Little Nell. They remind me of picture plates in the bible my mother gave my father on their first wedding anniversary. I've just gone to look at them again - artists like Caravaggio http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sacrifice_of_Isaac_by_Caravaggio.jpg and Georges de Roue http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magdalen_with_the_Smoking_Flame

Alex Daw said...

Yes, it has a real ring to it, doesn't it Wendy? We'll have no truck with underlings - that sort of thing.

Alex Daw said...

Yes Teresa - I just love old papers and magazines. I wonder what we think we will be quaint in the future that is around us today.

Alex Daw said...

I think you may be correct La Nightingail.

Alex Daw said...

Indeed Diamant/boundforoz - colour grading is a highly skilled craft in the film world using software named after great artists such as Da Vinci.

Mike Brubaker said...

An interesting effect for the photo. I think they actually are trying light the fire and have produced the first initial flame. I have seen the same appealing child contest for photographers of the 1890s too.

Alan Burnett said...

It is a wonderfully inventive photograph and a fascinating insight into professional photography in the 1940s and 50s.

Bob Scotney said...

Lastex for surfers? I wonder what they would make of the wet suits warn today.

Tattered and Lost said...

Quite a nice photo. My first reaction was that it was a furnace in a factory or aboard a steam engine.