Paul Burty Haviland (17 June 1880 – 21 December 1950) was an early French-American 20th century photographer, writer and arts critic who was closely associated with Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession.
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Segundo Víctor Aurelio Chomón y Ruiz (1871-1929) was a pioneering Spanish film director. He produced many short films in France while working for Pathé Frères and has been compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions.
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Annette Marie Sarah Kellerman (6 July 1887 – 5 November 1975) was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star, and writer. She was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume and inspired others to follow her example. She is often credited for inventing the sport of synchronised swimming after her 1907 performance of the first water ballet in a glass tank at the New York Hippodrome. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Kellerman was born in Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia, on 6 July 1887, to Australian-born violinist Frederick William Kellerman and his French wife, Alice Ellen Charbonnet, a pianist and music teacher. At the age of 6, a weakness in Kellerman's legs necessitated the wearing of painful steel braces to strengthen them. In order to further overcome her disability, her parents enrolled her in swim classes at Cavill's baths in Sydney. By the age of 13, her legs were practically normal, and by 15, she had mastered all the swimming strokes and won her first race. At this time she was also giving diving displays.
In 1902, Kellerman decided to take her swimming seriously and subsequently won the ladies' 100 yards and mile championships of New South Wales in the record times of 1 minute, 22 seconds and 33 minutes, 49 seconds respectively. In that same year, her parents decided to move to Melbourne, and she was enrolled at Mentone Girls' Grammar School where her mother had accepted a music teaching position. During her time at school, Kellerman gave exhibitions of swimming and diving at the main Melbourne baths, performed a mermaid act at Princes Court entertainment centre and did two shows a day swimming with fish in a glass tank at the Exhibition Aquarium. On 24 August 1905, aged 18, Annette Kellerman was the first woman to attempt to swim the English Channel. After three unsuccessful swims she declared, "I had the endurance but not the brute strength."
Kellerman was famous for advocating the right of women to wear a one-piece bathing suit, which was controversial at the time. According to an Australian magazine, "In the early 1900s, women were expected to wear cumbersome dress and pantaloon combinations when swimming. In 1907, at the height of her popularity, Kellerman was arrested on Revere Beach, Massachusetts, for indecency - she was wearing one of her fitted one-piece costumes." The popularity of her one-piece suits resulted in her own line of women's swimwear. The "Annette Kellermans", as they were known, were the first step to modern swimwear.
In 1908, after a study of 3000 women, Dr Dudley A. Sargent of Harvard University dubbed her the Perfect Woman because of the similarity of her physical attributes to the Venus de Milo. Kellerman married her American-born manager, James Raymond Louis Sullivan, on or around 26 November 1912 at Danbury, Connecticut.
In 1916, Kellerman became the first major actress to do a nude scene when she appeared fully nude in A Daughter of the Gods. Made by Fox Film Corporation, Daughter of the Gods was the first million-dollar film production. Like many of Kellerman's other films, this is now considered a lost film as no copies are known to exist. The majority of Kellerman's films had themes of aquatic adventure. She performed her own stunts including diving from ninety-two feet into the sea and sixty feet into a pool of crocodiles. Many times she would play mermaids named Annette or variations of her own name.
Her "fairy tale films", as she called them, started with The Mermaid (1911), in which she was the first actress to wear a swimmable mermaid costume on film, paving the way for future screen sirens such as Glynis Johns, Esther Williams and Daryl Hannah. She designed her own mermaid swimming costumes and sometimes made them herself. Kellerman appeared in one of the last films made in Prizma Color, Venus of the South Seas (1924), a U.S./New Zealand co-production where one reel of the 55-minute film was in color and underwater. Venus of the South Seas was restored by the Library of Congress in 2004 and is the only feature film starring Annette Kellerman known to exist in its complete form.
In addition to her film and stage career, Kellerman wrote several books including How To Swim (1918), Physical Beauty: How to Keep It (1919), a book of children's stories titled Fairy Tales of the South Seas (1926) and My Story, an unpublished autobiography. She also wrote numerous mail order booklets on health, beauty and fitness. A lifelong vegetarian, Kellerman owned a health food store in Long Beach, California.
She and her husband returned to live in Australia in 1970, and in 1974 she was honoured by the International Swimming Hall of Fame at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She remained active well into old age continuing to swim and exercise until a short time before her death. Preceded by her husband in death, Annette Kellerman died in hospital at Southport, Queensland, Australia, on 5 November 1975, aged 88 and was cremated with Roman Catholic rites. Her remains were scattered in the Great Barrier Reef. She had no children.
9 September 2011
Gustave Marissiaux (1872 - 1929) was a french pictorialist. During his lifetime he was internationally recognized and honoured but after his death his work was fast forgotten. He lived in Liège (Belgium) where he worked as a portrait photographer. But he was also an active art photographer and member of the "Association Belge de la Photography" and the "Société française de Photographie". In his artwork he used the Platinum Print, Bromoil, Sury Process and the Photogravure.
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6 September 2011
Anne Wardrope (Nott) Brigman (1869–1950) was an American photographer and one of the original members of the Photo-Secession movement in America. Her most famous images were taken between 1900 and 1920, and depict nude women in primordial, naturalistic contexts.
Brigman was born in the Nuuanu Valley above Honolulu, Hawaii on 3 December 1869. She was the oldest of eight children born to Mary Ellen Andrews Nott, whose parents had moved to Hawaii as missionaries in 1828. Her father, Samuel Nott, was from Gloucester, England. When she was sixteen her family moved to Los Gatos, California, and nothing is known about why they moved or what they did after arriving in California. In 1894 she married a sea captain, Martin Brigman. She accompanied her husband on several voyages to the South Seas, returning to Hawaii at least once.
Storm Tree, 1915
Imogen Cunningham recounts a story supposedly told to her firsthand that on one of the voyages Brigman fell and injured herself so badly that one breast was removed. Whether this is true or not, after 1900 she stopped traveling with her husband and became active in the growing bohemian community of the San Francisco Bay area. She was close friends with the writer Jack London and the poet and naturalist Charles Keeler. Perhaps seeking her own artistic outlet, she began photographing in 1901. Soon she was exhibiting in local photographic salons, and within two years she had developed a reputation as a master of pictorial photography.
The Heart of the Storm
In late 1902 she came across a copy of Camera Work and was captivated by the images and the writings of Alfred Stieglitz. She wrote Stieglitz praising him for the journal, and Stieglitz in turn soon became captivated with Brigman's photography. In 1902 he listed her as an official member of the Photo-Secession, which, because of Stieglitz's notoriously high standards and because of her distance from the other members in New York, is a significant indicator of her artistic status. IN 1906 she was listed as a Fellow of the Photo-Secession, the only photographer west of the Mississippi to be so honored.
From 1903 to 1908 Stieglitz exhibited Brigman's photos many times, and her photos were printed in three issues of Stieglitz's journal Camera Work. During this same period he often exhibited and corresponded under the name "Annie Brigman", but in 1911 she dropped the "i" and was known from then on as "Anne". Although she was well known for her artistic work, she did not do any commercial or portrait work like some of her comptemporaries. In 1910 she and her husband separated, and she moved into a house with her mother. By 1913 she was living alone "in a tiny cabin...with a red dog...and 12 tame birds".
She continued to exhibit for many years and was included in the landmark International Exhibition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in New York in 1911 and the Internation Exhibition of Pictorial Photography in San Francisco in 1922. In California, she became revered by West Coast photographers and her photography influenced many of her contemporaries. Here, she was also known as an actress in local plays, and as a poet performing both her own work and more popular pieces such as Enoch Arden. An admirer of the work of George Wharton James, she photographed him on at least one occasion.
Soul of the blasted pine
She continued photography through the 1940s, and her work evolved from a pure pictorial style to more of a straight photography approach, although she never really abandoned her original vision. Her later close-up photos of sandy beaches and vegetation are fascinating abstractions in black-and-white. In the mid-1930s she also began taking creative writing classes, and soon she was writing poetry. Encouraged by her writing instructor, she put together a book of her poems and photographs call Songs of a Pagan. She found a publisher for the book in 1941, but because of World War II the book was not printed until 1949, one year before she died. Brigman died on 8 February 1950 at her sister's home in El Monte, California.
The cleft of the rock
Brigman's photographs frequently focused on the female nude, dramatically situated in natural landscapes or trees. Many of her photos were taken in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in carefully selected locations and featuring elaborately staged poses. Brigman often featured herself as the subject of her images. After shooting the photographs, she would extensively touch up the negatives with paints, pencil, or superimposition.
The Dying Cedar
Brigman's deliberately counter-cultural images suggested bohemianism and female liberation. Her work challenged the establishment's cultural norms and defied convention, instead embracing pagan antiquity. The raw emotional intensity and barbaric strength of her photos contrasted with the carefully calculated and composed images of Stieglitz and other modern photographers.