Six sisters from Ytre Eikås, Jølster Commune, Norway, ca. 1930 – ca. 1935, by Olai Fauske, via Fylkesarkivet (County Archives) i Sogn go Fjordane Commons on flickr.
Of course it’s about their flowered dresses, aprons, and blouse. For a much closer look, click here and then on the flickr page image.
The sisters are Anne, Johanna, Synneve, Inga, Ragna, and Kristina. In 1936, Kristina emigrated to the U.S. (The two girls in front are unidentified.)
The photographer, Olai Fauske, worked all around the Sunnfijord district, which included Jølster. He sold his photos and postcards not only locally, but to people who had emigrated from the area to the U.S. and then wrote back to him requesting pictures of home.
His childhood friend Alfred, for instance, longed to see Erviki in all its summer glory: “When June comes I believe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to try and get a picture of Erviki, when all the hills are green and the waterfall quite big. I liked that the best. . .,” he wrote in a letter to Fauske in 1909.
“Charlie Ferguson’s sister,” Tilba Tilba, New South Wales, ca. 1895, by William Henry Corkhill, viaTrove of the National Library of Australia.
I love this formal pose in front of a vegetable garden — and it’s very typical of the photographer’s work.
Corkhill was an amateur who took thousands of pictures of his prosperous dairy farming community between 1890 and 1910.
His images were rediscovered in 1975, when his daughter gave his surviving glass plate negatives to the National Library. Among the 840 that could still be printed were portraits of family and neighbors of a “special intensity and intimacy,” according to the book, Taken at Tilba.
For the natural light, Corkhill had to work outside, in gardens and farmyards. But he often posed his subjects as if they were in a studio, with small tables, chairs, and books. His backdrops were sometimes shrubs and flowers, but he also seemed satisfied with rough fences, water tanks, or the space between two farm sheds. Occasionally, the sitters look a little amused by the process, but the photographer’s approach is not ironic.
“Corkhill’s familiarity with and affection for his subjects is evident . . . and imbues his photographs with a strange combination of authority and informality. He has a rather casual approach to the backgrounds in his portraits, as if his familiarity with the scenes he records makes him impervious to some of their oddities,” according to his biography on the Library’s website.
You can click on the linked titles below to see more of his pictures, or you can browse through the online catalog here.
Women on a veranda at Tonsåsen Sanatorium (the woman on the left is wearing a traditional costume similar to the one in this photo), Valdres, Norway, ca. 1890, by Carl Curman, via Swedish National Heritage Board Commons on flickr (all three photos).
Tonsåsen Sanatorium was established for the treatment of tuberculosis in 1881 — the same year that the bacillus causing the disease* was identified by Robert Koch. Like similar facilities, just about the only treatment it could offer was a combination of nutritious food, rest, and plenty of fresh air. However, it also had thermal baths, and the photographer, Carl Curman, was a physician, specializing in the science of health baths (balneology).
Even at the better sanatoriums, fifty percent of patients were dying within five years in 1916. It was only after the development of antibiotics after World War II that it was possible to treat and cure TB reliably. Tonsåsen closed in the 1960s.