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Storyville Portrait

A work made of gelatin silver printing out paper print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver printing out paper print.


1908/1917, printed 1966/70


E. J. Bellocq (American, 1873–1949)
printed by Lee Friedlander (American, born 1934)

About this artwork

In the early years of the 20th century, the commercial photographer E. J. Bellocq made a series of strangely personal images in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans; many years later, the glass-plate negatives were discovered and printed by photographer Lee Friedlander. According to the accounts of jazz musicians and photographers who knew him, Bellocq was a difficult person. But he must have appealed to the inhabitants of the brothels, who collaborated with him on a series of intimate, revealing portraits that are anything but pornographic in effect. In many of Bellocq’s images, the identity is hidden, either by a mask or by purposeful damage to the negative; it is unknown whether the defacement was done by the photographer or by the women he photographed.


On View, Gallery 1


Photography and Media


E. J. Bellocq


Storyville Portrait


United States (Artist's nationality)


Made 1907–1917


Gelatin silver printing out paper print


Image/paper: 25.2 × 20.3 cm (9 15/16 × 8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Gilda Buchbinder

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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