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off the beaten path
January 19, 2010 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Passport photos of famous artists, 1915-1925. Collection gleaned from passport applications files of writers actors, poets, artists, photographers. Also, Hollywood stars and other notables of the era.
posted by madamjujujive (23 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, does that Jeanne Eagels have vo-de-oh-doe or what.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:40 AM on January 19, 2010


These were cool as hell. I notice the the person who posted these on Flickr lives in Falls Church, VA. I guess he goes to the National Archives during his spare time and gets these. Must be nice.
posted by marxchivist at 11:43 AM on January 19, 2010


You know, I think the same person who took most of these - especially the shots that were mostly shadow - works at the local DMV now, if my driver's license is any indication.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:59 AM on January 19, 2010


They all look guilty of something.
posted by R. Mutt at 12:04 PM on January 19, 2010


Loved these, thanks.
posted by shothotbot at 12:15 PM on January 19, 2010


They're all American? You don't think that this fact deserves mention?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 12:28 PM on January 19, 2010


ethnomethodologist, I wanted to leave something for you to say!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:32 PM on January 19, 2010


It's funny...fancy hats and shadows seemed much more acceptable back then. When I showed up in a giant-brimmed hat, and suggested moodier lighting, well, dammit, they wouldn't listen to me.
posted by Richat at 12:53 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this cool post.

They all look guilty of something.

Amazing that eyeryone always looks fairly terrible in these photos, even when they are famous, well dressed, and being photographed in black and white.
posted by bearwife at 2:48 PM on January 19, 2010


I was expecting passport photos in the style of famous artists and was disappointed not to see a cubist Picasso.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:31 PM on January 19, 2010


This was great!
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:32 PM on January 19, 2010


My favorite so far is this one. It is hard to believe she manages to be mysterious and fascinating in a passport photo.
posted by bearwife at 3:54 PM on January 19, 2010


Really bearwife, I thought e e cummings was looking pretty damn dapper.
posted by kaspen at 6:45 PM on January 19, 2010


Irene Castle looks like she belongs on a Les Mis poster.
posted by MikeMc at 7:08 PM on January 19, 2010


Hunh, Ezra Pound was the hotness. Too bad about the crazy and the Jew hatred.
posted by Diablevert at 7:08 PM on January 19, 2010


Hi. I'm puzzlemaster from flickr.com. I wanted to respond to some of the comments. First of all thanks to madamjujujive for posting the link. My flickr views went from about 300 yesterday to over 17,000 today and I think you may be responsible.

To marxchivist: I am, as you guessed, a frequent visitor to NARS, but these photos were all downloaded from ancestry.com, US Passport Applications, 1798-1925. Glad to meet a fellow bureaucrat.

To twoleftfeet: Check out the photo of Man Ray. I think it comes close to his artistic style.

To MikeMc: Good call on the Irene Castle photo. I knew she reminded me of someone (besides that old girlfriend, of course).

Thanks to all. Love the comments.

PM
posted by puzzlemaster at 7:39 PM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Halloo, puzzlemaster! Thanks for putting these up, they're great.
posted by steef at 8:00 PM on January 19, 2010


Jeebus, I know how it sounds, but Ernest Hemingway sure looked like Leonardo DiCaprio. And yeah, Ezra Pound...
posted by biscotti at 8:50 PM on January 19, 2010


These are great. I had never seen photos of most of these people before this. Nice to put a (shadowy, hard to distinguish) face to some of the authors I devoted many hours to during my Lit degree. That is not at ALL what I pictured e e cummings to look like.

biscotti: Jeebus, I know how it sounds, but Ernest Hemingway sure looked like Leonardo DiCaprio.

He does!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:10 AM on January 20, 2010


Any bureaucracy that would approve this as an acceptable photograph for identification is okay by me.

And now that I read up on her some more, that photo is truly worth a thousand words of biography for her...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2010


Impersonation seems like it would have been a lot easier back then. Big floppy hat + shadowy cover = foolproof.
posted by amicamentis at 2:16 PM on January 20, 2010


And I love that they were allowed to have guest appearances.
posted by amicamentis at 2:17 PM on January 20, 2010


Thanks for stopping by puzzlemaster. Why don't you pull up a chair and stay awhile?
posted by madamjujujive at 5:22 AM on January 22, 2010


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