Sunday Musings At The End Of February

Something of a ‘Groundhog Day’ week for me, with every day much the same. I am not complaining, as I find routine comforting, and having no dramas or stress about anything is always to be welcomed.


My only break from routine was to empty out my old car in preparation for handing it over when we collect the replacement next week. It is strange to discover what you can accumulate inside a car during ten years. I found sunglasses I hadn’t seen for at least five years, and numerous expired entrance tickets for car parks. Two umbrellas stored in the back in case of rain, and a first aid kit I had previously searched the house for.


Ollie is doing well, but we await his Spring moult. This not only covers the house in his fur, but usually signals the onset of one skin condition or another. I am hoping he gets away with that this year, as we have only just got on top of his last ear infection.


I finally took a camera out and photographed the new bridge to Hoe Rough. The photos appear in a separate post today.


Weather-wise, it went back to being very cold. Hovering around freezing in the mornings, and a couple of days of rain too. That rain felt icy when it fell on you, and the North-Easterly winds made my face ache. But the sun is out this morning, and I can hardly see the keyboard for sunshine reflecting on it.


I hope your Sunday is what you want it to be, whether peaceful or hectic.


Diane Arbus: A Controversial Life

Diane Arbus is one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. Born in New York City, she was working as a fashion photographer before she began to pursue an artistic career. Arbus made portraits of people from across society, but is best known for her powerful images of people whose situation or choices in life kept them on the margins of society – such as circus and freak show performers, transsexuals, nudists or the mentally handicapped. It is easy to see how she was inspired by her mentor, Lisette Model.

She committed suicide in 1971, at the age of 48.
All photos are © Diane Arbus/The Estate of Diane Arbus LLC

Diane Arbus with her camera.

Boy with a toy hand grenade.

Identical twin sisters.

A transvestitie in curlers.

The ‘Jewish Giant’ with his parents.


Circus performer.

Taxi, New York City.

Girl waiting to cross the street.

Circus performer.

A lady in a hat.

Identical twin brothers.

A Down’s Syndrome girl at the swimming pool.

Street Photography: Lisette Model

Lisette Model (born Elise Amelie Felicie Stern; November 10, 1901 – March 30, 1983) was an Austrian-born American photographer primarily known for the frank humanism of her street photography. A prolific photographer in the 1940s and a member of the New-York cooperative Photo League, she was published in PM’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, and US Camera before taking up teaching in 1949 through the intermediary of Ansel Adams.

She taught at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1951 until her death in 1983 with many notable students, the most famous of whom was Diane Arbus. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and still resides in several permanent collections, including that of the National Gallery of Canada and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Self Portrait, 1940s.

One of her many photographic interests was the use of reflections in shop windows.

She was also known for her photos of people who were not conventionally attractive.

Photographic Firsts

I found this short video on You Tube. It is called ‘The Oldest Photographs In The World’, but is really examples of photographic firsts. The first known photos of people and buildings, the earliest photos of The Sun and The Moon, and the first underwater photographs. It comes up to date with the first photos from Space, and the first published on the Internet.

This is mainly of interest to photographers out there, but it is still worth your time to get the sense of history.

Early Hospital Photographs

Some early photographers were interested in documenting the patients and equipment in hospitals. I found some good examples online.

Babies in incubators. Crystal Palace Hospital London, 1910.

An early form of X-Ray machine being used, 1913.

Lydia Ward for children. Guy’s Hospital, London. 1907

An experimental ECG machine being used for heart tests. National Heart Hospital, London. 1916.

Children outside on a hospital balcony. Salford, Lancashire. 1905. At the time, great emphasis was put on fresh air to aid recovery.

The new operating theatre at Dollis Hill Hospital, London. 1920.

The Canadian Military Convalescent Hospital in Epsom. 1918

The Whirlpool Bath at Manor House Hospital, London. 1920. The man with his leg in the bath is wearing Army hospital uniform, so is likely to still be receiving treatment for injuries sustained in WW1.

The Women and Children’s Hospital in Leeds, Yorkshire around 1916. Once again, they have wheeled the children outside for ‘fresh air’.

President Ward at St Bartholemew’s Hospital in London. 1909.

The Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire. 1910. The ward is open to the elements during the day for more of that ‘fresh air’.

Finsen light treatment for Lupus. The London Hospital, 1906.