Point Pleasant, W.Va.

“A [river] pilot’s wheel stuck in the backyard of a retired pilot’s home,” Point Pleasant, West Virginia, May 1943, by Arthur S. Siegelvia Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Point Pleasant lies at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Siegel was working along the rivers on assignment for the U.S. Office of War Information. He photographed the U.S. Coast Guard patrol, steam and tow boats, and industrial plants, particularly the Marietta Manufacturing Company, which was constructing LT boats for the army.

Comparing bouquets

Alfalfa crops, probably in Oregon, ca. 1955, via OSU Special Collections & Archives Commons on flickr.

Plants on the left show growth without Borax added to the soil and the plants on the right show what growth has occurred with borax. When soils have a borax deficiency, a “yellow top” condition develops, especially during the dry season. The plants are part of the Experiment Station soils program experiments.

— OSU photo caption

The Hague, Netherlands


Palace Garden, The Hague, Netherlands, August 1929, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker, 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.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 61 978 X) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

A lady’s paradise


“The property of Madame Douine, Cap Martin, France,” January 1923, by Roger Dumas, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

If you watched The Paradise (2013) on either BBC America or Masterpiece and wondered what happened to Denise after the series ended . . . well, perhaps it was this.

The series was based on Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise) by Émile Zola. It is novel about a saleswoman in one of the grand Paris department stores — Denise — who eventually marries the store’s owner. Her story mirrored the real life of Cyprienne Dubernet, a saleswoman at Grand Magazins du Louvre who married the owner, Olympe Hériot, in 1887.*

In 1909, Cyprienne — now widowed and re-married to Roger Douine — decided to build a villa in Cap Martin on the French Riviera. Her architect designed a Neo-Byzantine house inspired by her travels to Naples, Smyrna, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. She named it “Villa Cypris” in tribute to the Greek goddess of love and her own name. Italian painter Raffael Mainella designed the interiors and the garden, which included a stone bridge along the seafront, a cloister, a “Venetian Sanctuary,” a Mauritanian pergola, and sunken Dutch-style parterres with a canal/swimming pool.

You can see more pictures of the estate here, on its website (it seems to be for sale). There’s a video here

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker, 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 (search “Madame Douine” to see more of Villa Cypris).


*It seems doubtful that Cyprienne (born just plain Anne Marie) was the direct inspiration for Denise, as the novel was published in 1883. She and Olympe had at least one (maybe two) of their four children before their marriage. Their oldest son, Auguste, was an inspiration for the main character of Colette’s novel Cheri. Cyprienne died in 1945.

words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photos (A 71 795) are © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

In a vase on Monday: snowdrops


for the first day of spring. . .

“Bouquet of lilies of the plain of Kosovo (snowdrops) . . . on a farm table — Lipljan, Kosovo, (in May, actually) 1913, by Auguste Léon, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

This autochrome is one of about 72,000 that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker who was committed to the ideal of universal peace and believed that “knowledge of foreign cultures encourages respect and peaceful relations between nations.”* He was also acutely aware that the 20th century was going to bring rapid material change to the world.

Accordingly, from 1909 to 1931, Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to 50 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.

I wasn’t able to make my own flower arrangement this week for the Monday meme “In a vase on Monday,”‘ but to see what other garden bloggers have created today, please visit host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


*Collections Albert Kahn website. Also, the above photo (A 1902) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.
†words of Albert Kahn, 1912.