An artist in pastels working on a sidewalk along the Thames River, London, June 1924, by Roger Dumas, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.
This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
Moncure Daniel Conway and family at their London home, ca. 1890s, photographer unknown, via House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College.
Moncure Conway (third from the left) was a southern abolitionist, born in Virginia to a prominent slave-owning family and educated at Dickinson. After college, he first became a circuit-riding Methodist minister, but then a crisis of conscience led him to further study at Harvard and ministry in the Unitarian Church. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he undertook a mission to promote the anti-slavery, pro-Union cause to Great Britain. London became his home for most of the rest of his life as he led the nonconformist South Place Ethical Society.
From the mallets in the picture, members of the family seem to have just finished a croquet game. The maid is bringing out tea.
Postcard of family in the garden, ca. 1905, via pellethepoet on flickr (under CC license). Pelle’s notes say it was purchased from an eBay seller in Tramore, Waterford, Ireland.
The low-hanging hammock on the left swayed right at the moment the shutter clicked. There are actually two women in the hammock, and there’s a strange blur behind it in the center — probably a child running past. The girl on the grass has tumbled (out of the hammock?), and her legs are up. On the left, the blond girl on the bench has noticed and looks about to laugh.
For a better look, click on the picture — or on “via” above and then on the larger image there.
Last week, we were in London, and, walking around Whitehall, I discovered the 18th century Blewcoat School building and this beautiful botanical display.
I thought I would share it for today’s “In a vase. . .,” since I haven’t been able to buy flowers, and nothing is blooming in the yard (although I think I will see primroses along the fence by next week).
The building now houses a fancy bridal shop, Ian Stewart.
Why the use of onions, I’m not sure — they do seem to be cooking onions and not ornamental Alliums. There may be a connection to unity and wholeness (round, concentric layers). One website said onions were once given as marriage presents during the Middle Ages.