The Sunday porch: Martha’s Vineyard

Writer Dorothy West on her porch in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, ca. 1981, by Judith Sedwick, via Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America on flickr (both photos here).

West’s writing desk. Click to enlarge.

In 1978, West had been a participant in the Black Women Oral History Project. In 1981, photographer Judith Sedwick made portraits of a number of the interviewees, including West.

West had lived in her family’s former vacation home at Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, since 1947 and wrote articles and stories for the The Vineyard Gazette.

Parc de Bagatelle, Paris

A re-post from 2013. . .
Bagatelle/enclos*ure Strolling in Bagatelle Park, Paris, France, ca. 1920, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by an unknown photographer, via Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection, Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

The park has been a botanical garden inside the Bois de Boulogne since 1905. Today, it’s best known for its over 9,000 rose bushes. The land was originally laid out in 1777 in a fashionable Anglo-Chinois style as a garden for the Chateau de Bagatelle — built by the Count of Artois in only 64 days as part of a bet with Marie Antoinette.

Another well-dressed lady in the same garden, also ca. 1920, an autochrome by an unknown photographer, via Photographic Heritage on flickr (under CC license).

The Archives of American Gardens (top image) holds over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America, which is the source of this image.

The Sunday porch: Camden, Alabama

Front of the Robert Tait House, Camden, Alabama, 1936, by Alex Bush for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all three photos).

Looking west on the south porch. It looks as though the ceiling has been painted the traditional blue. And note that the columns do not rest on the porch floor foundation, but on the ground just in front of it, making this a Carolina or rain porch.

The house was built for Robert Tait in 1855. It still stands.

Looking north on the west porch.

Blue and silver


Château de Dampierre: the château’s façade from the garden side, with a formal parterre garden in the foreground,” Dampierre-en-Yvelines, France, July 8, 1936, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by an unknown photographer, via Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection, Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

The Archives holds over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America, which is the source of this image.

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Écardenville-sur-Eure

Cross and coquelicots, Écardenville-sur-Eure, Normandy, France, June 30, 1920, by Georges Chevalier, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des 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.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 22 388) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.