May 19, 2010

Photophilia: Ernest J. Bellocq

 "In the early 1900s, Ernest J. Bellocq carried his 8 x 10-inch view camera across Basin Street to photograph the women of New Orleans' notorious district of legalized prostitution, Storyville. His private photographic project remained unknown until after his death, but eventually found its way to international acclaim. Yet virtually no prostitute portraits printed by Bellocq himself have surfaced. He kept his Storyville project secret from everyone except a few of his closest friends, and it remained secret until his glass negative plates were discovered languishing in a junk shop years after his death. 
In 1967, Master photographer Lee Friedlander acquired and began to make prints from Bellocq's glass negative plates, and the Museum of Modern Art hung an exhibition of them in 1970. Bellocq then took his place as the photography world's best-known photographer of prostitutes."
via americansuburbx
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