Nº. 2 of  40

Paris Was A Woman

Badass female artists, socialites, and icons of the early 1900s.
Brought to you by Chloe Thunders (chloethunders.tumblr.com).

liquidnight:

George Hoyningen-Huene
Lotte Lenya, 1933
From The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene

liquidnight:

George Hoyningen-Huene

Lotte Lenya, 1933

From The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene

etund:

Caresse Crosby, dressed to thrill. Paris, 1920s.

etund:

Caresse Crosby, dressed to thrill. Paris, 1920s.

Carolina “La Belle” Otero (4 November 1868 – 12 April 1965) was a Spanish-born dancer, actress and courtesan.
Born Agustina Otero Iglesias in Valga, Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain), her family was impoverished, and as a child she moved to Santiago de Compostela working as a maid. At ten she was raped, which left her sterile, and at fourteen she left home with her boyfriend and dancing partner, Paco, and began working as a singer/dancer in Lisbon.
She reportedly married an Italian nobleman, Count Guglielmo, when she was 14. Her second husband, whom she married in 1906, was René Webb, an English cotton spinner.
In 1888 she found a sponsor in Barcelona who moved with her to Marseilles in order to promote her dancing career in France. She soon left him and created the character of La Belle Otero, fancying herself an Andalusian gypsy. She wound up as the star of Les Folies Bèrgere productions in Paris.
Within a short number of years, Otero grew to be the most sought after woman in all of Europe. She was serving, by this time, as a courtesan to wealthy and powerful men of the day, and she chose her lovers carefully. She associated herself with the likes of Prince Albert I of Monaco, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Kings of Serbia, and Kings of Spain as well as Russian Grand Dukes Peter andNicholas, the Duke of Westminster and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. Her love affairs made her infamous, and the envy of many other notable female personalities of the day. Six men reportedly committed suicide after their love affairs with Otero ended, although this has never been substantiated beyond a doubt. It is a fact, however, that two men did fight a duel over her. She was pretty, confident, intelligent, with an attractive figure. One of her most famous costumes featured her voluptuous bosom partially covered with glued-on precious gems, and the twin cupolas of the Hotel Carlton built in 1912 in Cannes are popularly said to have been modeled upon her breasts. 
It was once said of her that her extraordinarily dark black eyes were so captivating that they were "of such intensity that it was impossible not to be detained before them".
In August 1898, in St-Petersburg, the French film operator Félix Mesguich (an employee of the Lumière company) shot a one-minute reel of Otero performing the famous “Valse Brillante.” The screening of the film at the Aquarium music-hall provoked such a scandal (because an officer of the Tsar’s army appeared in this frivolous scene) that Mesguich was expelled from Russia.
Otero retired after World War I, purchasing a mansion and property at a cost of the equivalent of US$15 million. She had accumulated a massive fortune over the years, about US$25 million, but she gambled much of it away over the remainder of her lifetime, enjoying a lavish lifestyle, and visiting the casinos of Monte Carlo often. She lived out her life in a more and more pronounced state of poverty until she died of a heart attack in 1965 in her one-room apartment at the Hotel Novelty in Nice, France. As a neighbor said of Otero’s last days, “”She was constantly talking about her past, and I was not listening any more. It was always the same: feasts, princes, champagne.”
Of her heyday and career, Otero once said, “Women have one mission in life: to be beautiful. When one gets old, one must learn how to break mirrors. I am very gently expecting to die.”

Carolina “La Belle” Otero (4 November 1868 – 12 April 1965) was a Spanish-born dancer, actress and courtesan.

Born Agustina Otero Iglesias in Valga, Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain), her family was impoverished, and as a child she moved to Santiago de Compostela working as a maid. At ten she was raped, which left her sterile, and at fourteen she left home with her boyfriend and dancing partner, Paco, and began working as a singer/dancer in Lisbon.

She reportedly married an Italian nobleman, Count Guglielmo, when she was 14. Her second husband, whom she married in 1906, was René Webb, an English cotton spinner.

In 1888 she found a sponsor in Barcelona who moved with her to Marseilles in order to promote her dancing career in France. She soon left him and created the character of La Belle Otero, fancying herself an Andalusian gypsy. She wound up as the star of Les Folies Bèrgere productions in Paris.

Within a short number of years, Otero grew to be the most sought after woman in all of Europe. She was serving, by this time, as a courtesan to wealthy and powerful men of the day, and she chose her lovers carefully. She associated herself with the likes of Prince Albert I of Monaco, King Edward VII of the United KingdomKings of Serbia, and Kings of Spain as well as Russian Grand Dukes Peter andNicholas, the Duke of Westminster and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. Her love affairs made her infamous, and the envy of many other notable female personalities of the day. Six men reportedly committed suicide after their love affairs with Otero ended, although this has never been substantiated beyond a doubt. It is a fact, however, that two men did fight a duel over her. She was pretty, confident, intelligent, with an attractive figure. One of her most famous costumes featured her voluptuous bosom partially covered with glued-on precious gems, and the twin cupolas of the Hotel Carlton built in 1912 in Cannes are popularly said to have been modeled upon her breasts. 

It was once said of her that her extraordinarily dark black eyes were so captivating that they were "of such intensity that it was impossible not to be detained before them".

In August 1898, in St-Petersburg, the French film operator Félix Mesguich (an employee of the Lumière company) shot a one-minute reel of Otero performing the famous “Valse Brillante.” The screening of the film at the Aquarium music-hall provoked such a scandal (because an officer of the Tsar’s army appeared in this frivolous scene) that Mesguich was expelled from Russia.

Otero retired after World War I, purchasing a mansion and property at a cost of the equivalent of US$15 million. She had accumulated a massive fortune over the years, about US$25 million, but she gambled much of it away over the remainder of her lifetime, enjoying a lavish lifestyle, and visiting the casinos of Monte Carlo often. She lived out her life in a more and more pronounced state of poverty until she died of a heart attack in 1965 in her one-room apartment at the Hotel Novelty in Nice, France. As a neighbor said of Otero’s last days, “”She was constantly talking about her past, and I was not listening any more. It was always the same: feasts, princes, champagne.”

Of her heyday and career, Otero once said, “Women have one mission in life: to be beautiful. When one gets old, one must learn how to break mirrors. I am very gently expecting to die.”

aseaofquotes:

Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark

aseaofquotes:

Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark

(Source: aseaofquotes)

smokedrunk:

Alla Nazimova sur le plateau de Madame Peacock en 1920.

smokedrunk:

Alla Nazimova sur le plateau de Madame Peacock en 1920.

mythologyofblue:

Dora Maar, Le simulateur, 1936
[Note: Maar’s haunting photomontages of the mid-1930s evoke a mood of oneiric ambiguity. Here, the world is turned literally upside-down: a boy bends sharply backward, echoing the curve of the vaulted ceiling on which he stands. On the print, Maar scratched out the figure’s eyes, exploiting Surrealism’s strong association of blindness with inner sight.]
 

mythologyofblue:

Dora MaarLe simulateur, 1936

[Note: Maar’s haunting photomontages of the mid-1930s evoke a mood of oneiric ambiguity. Here, the world is turned literally upside-down: a boy bends sharply backward, echoing the curve of the vaulted ceiling on which he stands. On the print, Maar scratched out the figure’s eyes, exploiting Surrealism’s strong association of blindness with inner sight.]

 

cavetocanvas:

Suzanne Valadon, Nude Fixing her Hair, 1920

cavetocanvas:

Suzanne Valadon, Nude Fixing her Hair, 1920

vintagegal:

Josephine Baker performing in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936

mudwerks:

(via THE BLUE LANTERN: Garish Days)
Madame Baker, reprinted from Ulk, 1928, State Museum, Berlin. 

Dodo, given name: Dorte Clara Wolff (1907-1998)  The artist studied at the prestigious Reimann Art School.  She had a successful career in fashion illustration but is best known for her caricatures that appeared in the satirical magazine Ulk, published in Berlin.   If you think her images portray alienation between women and men, you have understood her work.

mudwerks:

(via THE BLUE LANTERN: Garish Days)

Madame Baker, reprinted from Ulk, 1928, State Museum, Berlin. 

Dodo, given name: Dorte Clara Wolff (1907-1998)  The artist studied at the prestigious Reimann Art School.  She had a successful career in fashion illustration but is best known for her caricatures that appeared in the satirical magazine Ulk, published in Berlin.   If you think her images portray alienation between women and men, you have understood her work.

Caresse Crosby (born Mary Phelps Jacob, April 20, 1891 – January 26, 1970) was the first recipient of a patent for the modernbra, an American patron of the arts, publisher, and the “literary godmother to the Lost Generation of expatriate writers in Paris.” She and her second husband, Harry Crosby, founded the Black Sun Press which was instrumental in publishing early works of many authors who would later become famous, including Kay Boyle, Hart Crane, Archibald MacLeish, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Duncan,Anaïs Nin, and Henry Miller.
Crosby’s parents, William Hearn Jacob and Mary Phelps, were both descended from American colonial families, William from the Van Rensselaer family and Mary from William Phelps. Her life at first followed convention. In 1915, she married Richard R. Peabody, another blue blooded Bostonian. They had two children, but following Richard’s service in World War I, Richard became a drunk who loved to watch buildings burn. She met Harry Crosby at a picnic in 1920 and they had sex within two weeks. Their public relationship scandalized proper Boston society.
Two years later Richard granted her a divorce and Harry and Polly were married. They immediately left for Europe, where they joined the Lost Generation of American expatriates. They embraced a bohemian and decadent lifestyle, living off of Harry’s trust fund of US$12,000 a year (or about $165,000 in today’s dollars), had an open marriage with numerous ongoing affairs, a suicide pact, frequent drug use, wild parties, and long trips abroad. At her husband’s urging, Polly took the name Caresse in 1924. In 1925 they began publishing their own poetry as Éditions Narcisse in exquisitely printed, limited-edition volumes. In 1927 they re-christened the business as the Black Sun Press.
In 1929 one of her husband’s affairs culminated in his death as part of a murder-suicide or double suicide. His death was marked by scandal as the newspapers speculated wildly about whether Harry shot his lover or not. Caresse returned to Paris where she continued to run the Black Sun Press. With the prospect of war looming, she left Europe in 1936 and married Selbert Young, an unemployed, alcoholic actor sixteen years her junior. They lived on a Virginia plantation they rehabilitated outside Washington D.C. until she divorced him. She moved to Washington D.C. and began a long-term love affair with black actor-boxer Canada Lee, despite the threat of miscegenation laws. She founded Women Against War. She continued after World War II to try to establish a Center for World Peace at Delphi, Greece. When rebuffed by Greek authorities, she purchased Castello di Rocca Sinibalda, a 15th-century castle north of Rome, which she used to support an artists’ colony. She died of pneumonia related to heart disease in Rome in 1970.

Caresse Crosby (born Mary Phelps Jacob, April 20, 1891 – January 26, 1970) was the first recipient of a patent for the modernbra, an American patron of the arts, publisher, and the “literary godmother to the Lost Generation of expatriate writers in Paris.” She and her second husband, Harry Crosby, founded the Black Sun Press which was instrumental in publishing early works of many authors who would later become famous, including Kay BoyleHart CraneArchibald MacLeishErnest HemingwayRobert Duncan,Anaïs Nin, and Henry Miller.

Crosby’s parents, William Hearn Jacob and Mary Phelps, were both descended from American colonial families, William from the Van Rensselaer family and Mary from William Phelps. Her life at first followed convention. In 1915, she married Richard R. Peabody, another blue blooded Bostonian. They had two children, but following Richard’s service in World War I, Richard became a drunk who loved to watch buildings burn. She met Harry Crosby at a picnic in 1920 and they had sex within two weeks. Their public relationship scandalized proper Boston society.

Two years later Richard granted her a divorce and Harry and Polly were married. They immediately left for Europe, where they joined the Lost Generation of American expatriates. They embraced a bohemian and decadent lifestyle, living off of Harry’s trust fund of US$12,000 a year (or about $165,000 in today’s dollars), had an open marriage with numerous ongoing affairs, a suicide pact, frequent drug use, wild parties, and long trips abroad. At her husband’s urging, Polly took the name Caresse in 1924. In 1925 they began publishing their own poetry as Éditions Narcisse in exquisitely printed, limited-edition volumes. In 1927 they re-christened the business as the Black Sun Press.

In 1929 one of her husband’s affairs culminated in his death as part of a murder-suicide or double suicide. His death was marked by scandal as the newspapers speculated wildly about whether Harry shot his lover or not. Caresse returned to Paris where she continued to run the Black Sun Press. With the prospect of war looming, she left Europe in 1936 and married Selbert Young, an unemployed, alcoholic actor sixteen years her junior. They lived on a Virginia plantation they rehabilitated outside Washington D.C. until she divorced him. She moved to Washington D.C. and began a long-term love affair with black actor-boxer Canada Lee, despite the threat of miscegenation laws. She founded Women Against War. She continued after World War II to try to establish a Center for World Peace at Delphi, Greece. When rebuffed by Greek authorities, she purchased Castello di Rocca Sinibalda, a 15th-century castle north of Rome, which she used to support an artists’ colony. She died of pneumonia related to heart disease in Rome in 1970.

deviatesinc:

Bryher, 1929

deviatesinc:

Bryher, 1929

roud6294:

‘Song XVI’ from Songs to Joannes by Mina Loy (1915-1917)

roud6294:

‘Song XVI’ from Songs to Joannes by Mina Loy (1915-1917)

etund:

Margo Lion and Wilhelm Bendow, 1927

etund:

Margo Lion and Wilhelm Bendow, 1927

deviatesinc:

1912 poster for a Claire Waldoff performance in Berlin, by Jo Stiener

deviatesinc:

1912 poster for a Claire Waldoff performance in Berlin, by Jo Stiener

Nº. 2 of  40