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.

Date:

c. 1912, printed later

Artist:

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

About this artwork

A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Ernest J. Bellocq was a commercial photographer who undertook a personal quest to photograph the prostitutes of Storyville, the city's red-light district. In these frank and intimate photographs, women are not portrayed as prey to the camera's gaze, but rather seem to participate willingly and confidently in the photographic act. Rumored to be eccentric and reserved, Bellocq told only a handful of acquaintances about these portraits, which primarily date from 1912 (the negatives were later discovered and printed by photographer Lee Friedlander). This photograph of Bellocq's desk, therefore, provides an unusual glimpse into his mysterious personality and life. The cluttered arrangement of images of women, juxtaposed with floral wallpaper and languidly posing marble figurines, coheres into a dotingly composed shrine to femininity, hinting at the artist's admiration for women.

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Photography

Artist

E. J. Bellocq

Title

Storyville Portrait

Origin

United States

Date

1907–1917

Medium

Gelatin silver printing out paper print

Dimensions

25.2 x 20.3 cm (image/paper)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Gilda Buchbinder

Reference Number

2010.512

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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