The Sunday porch: Houston, Texas

Originally posted in October 2013:

Old house in 1940s Houston, by John Vachon, Library of Congress Another photo by John Vachon — an old house with a double porch in Houston, Texas, May 1943.*  I love the tower room.

You really need to click on the photo and enlarge it to enjoy all the details of this one.

Sharp-eyed commenters on the Library of Congress’s Flickr Commons project noticed that the address on the curb is 1900 Franklin Street. The location is currently a parking lot next to the US Route 59 overpass, close to Minute Maid Park.


*via Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs Collection, Library of Congress.

Vintage landscape: courtyard pattern

I’ve making patchwork pillows in shades of blue this week.  The mosaic arrangement on this courtyard wall would be a good one to copy in fabric.

Tillia-Kari courtyard“Vnutri dvora Tilli︠a︡-Kari. Detalʹ na pravoĭ storoni︠e︡. Samarkand (Inside Tillia-Kari courtyard. Detail on right side.), between 1905 and 1915, by Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (also the photo below).

In the center of Samarkand is the Registan complex, consisting of three madrasah (religious schools). The third of these, the Tillia Kari Madrasah, was built in 1646–60 on the site of a former caravansarai. Its basic plan is formed by a rectangular courtyard, bounded by arcades that contain rooms for scholars. Although much damaged, the facades show profuse ceramic decoration in geometric and botanical motifs, as well as panels with Perso-Arabic inscriptions above the door of each cell. Seen here is a detail of a cell facade inside the courtyard, with the walls covered in a geometric pattern of small glazed tiles and a fragment of an inscription panel above the door.

— from the image’s page on World Digital Library, a project of the Library of Congress.

view of Tillia-Kari courtyard“Vid s Tilli︠a︡-Kari na Samarkand (View of Samarkand from Tillia-Kari).”

Sergeĭ Prokudin-Gorskii made early color photographic surveys of the Russian Empire in the decade before World War I and the Russian revolution. He left Russia in 1918, eventually settling in Paris. The Library of Congress purchased his collection of 2,607 images from his sons in 1948. There are more vintage photos of Tillia Kari here.

Not Delft or delphinium, not Wedgewood. . .

But way on down in the moonless
octave below midnight, honey,
way down where you can’t tell cerulean
from teal.

Lynn Powell, from “Kind of Blue

Vintage landscape: yellow plums

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Yellow plums inside the conservatory at Blizhniaia dacha, Kyshtym, Russia, by Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, 1910, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Prokudin-Gorskiĭ made early color photographic surveys of the Russian Empire between 1905 and 1915.

Vintage landscape: lilac bush

Lilacs, between 1905 and 1915, by  via Library of CongressSirenʹ  or lilacs — an early color photograph taken between 1905 and 1915 — by Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love. . . .

— Walt Whitman, from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

The Sunday porch: Houston, Texas

Old house in 1940s Houston, by John Vachon, Library of Congress

Another photo by John Vachon — an old house with a double porch in Houston, Texas, May 1943.*  I love the tower room.

You really need to click on the photo and enlarge it to enjoy all the details of this one.

Sharp-eyed commenters on the Library of Congress’s Flickr Commons project noticed that the address on the curb is 1900 Franklin Street. The location is currently a parking lot next to the US Route 59 overpass, close to Minute Maid Park.


*via Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs Collection, Library of Congress.