Robert Frank’s Family on Wellfleet Beach

(Last Updated On August 4, 2022)

Robert Frank – Wellfleet Beach (1962)

Robert Frank took this photograph on the beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts in August 1962. His wife Mary and their two children, Andrea and Pablo are in the photo.

Robert Frank was born in Switzerland in 1924, and emigrated to the United States in 1947. His first job in America was as a photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. He later worked as a freelance photojournalist, but art photography was his passion. From 1955 to 1957 the Frank family traveled around the United States, and Robert took thousands of photos illustrating American life. Eighty-three of these photographs were published in the photo book Les Américains in France in 1958. Les Américains is Frank’s most famous work, and one of the most influential photo books of the century. As one who grew up in Europe, Frank could see America as an outsider, noticing things that a native of this country would not. The book was published in the United States in 1959 as The Americans.

Frank shifted his interest to making movies at this time. In 1959 he directed the beatnik film Pull My Daisy, written by Jack Kerouac, starring Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Robert Frank’s most famous movie is his 1972 documentary of the Rolling Stones.

The Wellfleet Beach photo, which was not titled by the photographer, is one of Frank’s most famous. Andrea, nine years old when the photo was taken, is the center of attention. It is obvious from the pattern of her suntan that she did not habitually go nude on the beach. In addition, a nine-year old girl would not be allowed to be naked on a public beach in the USA. The photo was apparently staged in a part of the beach with no people other than the Frank family. Andrea carries an American flag.

Andrea’s mother, Mary Frank, is on the left but her face is not visible. Andrea’s eleven-year old brother Pablo (named after Pablo Picasso) is on the right, and holds a copy of the New York Daily News reporting the death of Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe was an American icon who was famous not only as an actress, but also as a model for nude photographs in Playboy Magazine. I get the impression that Andrea’s nudity and flag are meant to memorialise Marilyn Monroe.

Maiden Voyages: August 2022

(Last Updated On August 5, 2022)

The months are just not long enough. As usual, I am a little late on this.

More on Pigtails Members: I am getting a little impatient with members not following the instructions I send. I understand that many of you are familiar with WordPress and even though we use the software, we are not on their server. Also because of automated attacks, we have had to modify the system so that our server won’t have to deal with the extra garbage traffic. That means that the login process for registered members is not the usual route that most other WP sites follow. If you attempt to login incorrectly, your IP will be blocked for 24 hours and you will have to wait to try again. So please follow the instructions!

During the registration process, I noticed that Yahoo and AOL are notorious for automatically blocking the automated email that sends you your password. In some cases, you can find it in the “spam” folder—not to be confused with the “junk” folder. Firefox and Mozilla email applications won’t even show you these. Therefore, for those who want to use those email accounts, I am going to have to send you the passwords manually. As if I didn’t have enough work already. Aargh!

Instagram Artists: I have gotten a spate of leads having to do with Instagram accounts with quality images by skilled photographers—amateur or otherwise. Young people are fond of sharing selfies but these few seems to be of higher production quality. Readers may even see posts here on some of these account holders in the future. Here are some of the leads I have received so far: here, here, here and here.

Quality Foreign Films: When I use the term “foreign”, this is from an English-speaking perspective. I really mean international films that were never intended for an international market. Someone turned me on to a YouTube channel with a collection (over 600) of foreign films in a wide range of languages. In one case, I found a much higher quality version of the film Du sel sur la peau (1984). I was intending to take new screen shots and update them on the post but the specific shots I captured weren’t really that bad. The problem was avoiding the hard-coded French subtitles and really poor sound quality. The channel in question has the theme of children in cinema which includes boys and girls so I would appreciate any readers willing to go through these and identify those dealing with girls that are not already included in the ‘Pipeline: Films’ page. The account seems to have been started in January 2022 which indicates to me that this person’s account is periodically cancelled due to “community standards” issues. Copyright issues are unlikely given the age of these films.

An Ethical Conundrum: I got a report about a pornography video—I believe a full-length film—that contains a child. Of course children engaging in sexual behavior with adults is almost universally illegal but this filmmaker seems to be pushing the edge and I wanted to hear comments—thoughtful, of course—about this tactic. According to the lead, the girl in question is not in any scene with an adult. In the story, the scene with the young girl (9 years old) is included as a flashback of one of the main characters in the film. The child’s genitals are visible for a few seconds because the scene is about her “playing doctor” with three little boys. The boys are also shown but the scenes were shot in such a way so the naked girl is not actually in the same room with the boy actors. To further complicate things, I am told that the girl’s face is recognizable in some shots which adds the possibility of stigmatization for having acted in the film. We have often discussed how nudity should not imply a sexual connotation (and therefore not stigmatized) but this little actress has been deliberately included in a porno film. Assuming the girl was otherwise treated well during filming, where do you fall on the ethics of this? Was it really necessary to show the girl’s genitals so prominently? Maybe because of the typical production values of pornos (low, in case you didn’t already know), maybe the filmmaker didn’t give it that much careful thought, but they seem to be skirting the edges of legality here. What do you think? Also, for the morbidly curious among you, I will not be divulging the title of the film, where it can be found and, no, I have not looked at the film myself so don’t bother asking!

George du Maurier’s Facetious Victorian Girls

(Last Updated On July 28, 2022)

I have no education or background in art, so there are many artists of whom I never heard before I started reading Pigtails and writing articles for it. In most cases it never bothered me that I had not known of these artists previously, but George du Maurier is an exception. Not knowing of him made me feel uneducated. He is the man who gave the English language the word “svengali” and the terms “in the altogether” for naked and “bedside manner” for a physician’s rapport with the patient. He is responsible for naming the trilby hat and the town of Trilby, Florida. His granddaughter Daphne du Maurier wrote The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock made into a movie. George du Maurier inspired Gaston Leroux to write Phantom of the Opera, and his grandchildren inspired J. M. Barrie to write Peter Pan. George du Maurier himself was one of the most prominent cartoonists of Victorian England.

George du Maurier – A Young Humanitarian (1887)

George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier was born in France in 1834. He studied chemistry and painting. His passion for art was greater than his inclination for chemistry, and loss of vision in his left eye made drawing easier than painting for him. In 1865 he joined the staff of Punch, Britain’s leading satire magazine. His cartoons satirizing British society were very popular. I do not have the dates for most of the illustrations in this post, but all are probably from the period between 1865 and 1891 when du Maurier was an active cartoonist.

Du Maurier draws like Dickens writes, with plenty of elaborate detail. Du Maurier’s humor is subtle and droll. The caption for Chacun Pour Soi (Everyone for Himself) is “Mamma (sternly) ‘Now, Miriam, say Grace’. Miriam (who, for previous Misconduct, has been deprived of Pudding). ‘For all they have Received, let them be Truly Thankful.'”

George du Maurier – Chacun Pour Soi (unknown date)

Girls in Victorian England were stereotyped as being quiet and demure. It is more unexpected, and therefore funnier for a girl to use a prayer to complain of her punishment than it would be for a boy to do the same. This could be one reason that girls are prominently featured in du Maurier’s satire, but I think there is another reason: girls and women are prettier than boys and men. Du Maurier may have simply liked drawing girls better than he liked drawing boys. In Chacun Pour Soi, he drew everybody at the table as female. In the last illustration in this article, Gentle Terrorism, it was necessary to draw an ugly character, and du Maurier drew that character as a man.

George du Maurier – A Hint (1879)

A Hint is captioned “Oh, Mamma, did you see those pretty flowers in the conservatory? I wish you’d buy me one! “It would fade before you got Home, Darling?” “Would it? Now, Buns don’t fade.”

George du Maurier – An Unpleasent Social Duty (unknown date)

An Unpleasent Social Duty illustrates a difference between boys and girls that can still be seen today. Girls typically enjoy dancing to music and will do so all by themselves as young children. They often continue to like dancing throughout their lives. Heterosexual boys usually do not dance until they approach puberty, and then only as an excuse to socialize with girls; most boys never really enjoy dancing. An Unpleasent Social Duty is captioned, “Hostess- ‘Geoffrey, I want you to dance with that little girl!’ Geoffrey- ‘Oh, well, if I must, I must…!'” Note that in Victorian England, women’s hemlines were floor length, while young girls’ hemlines were knee length.

George du Maurier – Delicate Consideration (unknown date)

The next drawing is titled Delicate Consideration. I have not found the original caption for the drawing. Perhaps the boy playing with girls is something Victorians would find humorous, but I don’t get it.

George du Maurier – An Introduction (unknown date)

An Introduction satirizes the Victorian reserve that requires a formal introduction, or at least something significant in common in order to socialize with an unknown person. The girl is saying to her aunt, “Auntie, darling, this is my new friend, Georgie Jones. He is nice. And isn’t it funny, my birthday is the ninth of January, and his is the tenth, so you see we only just escaped being twins!” An Introduction brings to mind the poem Etiquette by W. S. Gilbert. Note the proper high society beachwear.

George du Maurier – Modesty and Duty in Comfort (unknown date)

Modesty and Duty in Comfort spoofs the difference between beachwear for the upper class woman and the lower class children. At first I thought that all five children in the illustration were girls. All have long hair, and none have male genitalia. On second thought, probably only the two children in the water with very long hair are girls, and the ones with moderately long hair are boys, drawn with some censorship. At any rate, the upper class woman in the voluminous swimsuit seems to look on them with disapproval. The two nude children with long hair (I assume girls) in the right foreground appear to be moving away from the shorter-hair children (I assume boys) on shore. Many of you will have seen the PDF files of photographs at Graham Ovenden’s Garage Press site. A photo there shows a nude boy together with nude girls on the beach at Brighton in 1904. I suspect the children in that photo are from the lower social class.

George du Maurier – A Cry from the Heart (1881)

A Cry from the Heart is about a girl who doesn’t like school.
Little Dunce (looking up suddenly from her History book).— “Oh, Mummy darling, I do so wish I’d lived under James the Second”
Mamma.— “Why?”
Little Dunce.— “Because I see here that Education was very much neglected in his reign.”

George du Maurier – Proxy (unknown date)

The caption for Proxy is, “Proxy — As you’re going to say your Prayers, Maud, please mention I’m so dreadfully tired I can’t say mine to-night, but I’ll be sure to remember to-morrow! ”

George du Maurier – I must have this tooth out! (unknown date)

I must have this tooth out! shows a girl with no sympathy for her sister’s toothache. “I must have this tooth out, it hurts so!”
“Oh, please don’t, for I shall have to wear it, as I do all of your left off things!”

George du Maurier – Mothers Darlings (unknown date)

Mothers Darlings needs no caption. The point is obvious.

George du Maurier – Gentle Terrorism (unknown date)

Gentle Terrorism is the last du Maurier illustration in this post. The Professor.— “Will you give me a kiss, my dear?”
Effie (an habitually naughty girl).— “Oh, Mammie . . . . I’ll be good. I’ll be good . . . . I promise”

Mafalda

(Last Updated On July 20, 2022)

First of all, I would like to apologize for not publishing this sooner. One thing after another keeps cropping up and I never seem to get to reviewing an author’s work. At the time, Quino (the artist in question) had just died so I feel bad that I didn’t get to it in a timely manner. Interestingly, Google did feel the man was important enough to commemorate with a Google banner. -Ron

Azul Portillo – Google Doodle: Quino’s 90th Birthday (July 17, 2022)

Quino – Mafalda

Today [30 September 2020] I woke up with very sad news. Mr. Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, better know as Quino passed away, at the age of 88, in his home country Argentina.

In the year 1964, Quino made a comic strip about a little girl that challenged society. The comic ran for only 9 years, but that was enough time to make Argentina, as well as many other countries, fall in love with this little girl and her shenanigans.
Mafalda was initially planned to serve in advertisements for the “Mansfield” product line for the Siam Di Tella company, but quickly became it’s own independent idea. A local newspaper also offered to publish it with the advertisements removed, but in the end Quino decided to publish his strip in the magazine Primera Plana.

Quino – Mafalda Comic (1964)

Mafalda:  But… Why do I have to do it?
Mom: Because it’s an order and I’m your mother!
Mafalda: If it’s a matter of titles, I’m your daughter!
And we graduated the same day, no?!

The first strip was published on 29 September 1964, one day and 56 years before Quino’s passing.

The comic moved to the newspaper El Mundo just one year later, but the newspaper shut down in December of 1967. The next year the weekly Siete Días Illustrados resumed the publication until the strip concluded on 25 June 1973.

The comic was a mirror of Argentinian middle class and progressive youth during that time period, but at the same time touched topics that are still of concern today, like world peace, communism, capitalism and the way society operates.

Quino – Mafalda – See no Evil

Mafalda is an innocent but critical 6-year-old, very concerned with the state of human kind. She very often poses questions or makes observations about serious or mature topics that adults are unable to answer. She hates soup—which is a running gag in the strips—sometimes used metaphorically for different topics. She’s also a big Beatles fan.
She has a younger brother, Guille, who in contrast loves soup! He’s also a troublemaker and, like his sister, also has the tendency to bring complicated topics from an even more innocent point of view.

Mafalda’s parents are a regular middle-class young couple. Her mom is a housewife—very common for that time in Argentina—and her father works as an insurance agent. Both try to avoid Mafalda’s tough questions about adulthood, work, society and school.

Quino – Mafalda’s Friends

Mafalda also has friends who appear in the comics. One is Manolito whose family owns an almacén (a type of traditional shop), called Don Manolo, and usually represents the capitalist point of view. He loves soup and hates The Beatles. He’s always trying to make money.

Felipe is the oldest member of the gang. He’s a bit lazy and also a dreamer, very often worried about school. He loves to play and likes The Beatles.

Susanita is a very, very girly child; she loves gossip and other stereotypical female traits of the period. She dreams of becoming a mother and a housewife one day which usually leads to arguments with Mafalda.

Libertad—which means freedom in Spanish—is a really short girl, the same age as Mafalda, but shorter than Guille. She’s the most political and radical of the children, often touching upon even more complicated topics than Mafalda. She was the last character to be added to the strips. All the children’s parents are secondary characters in some strips.

Estatua (Mafalda statue)

In the year 1972, one year before the strips ended, Mafalda was developed into an animated series. Running for 52 short episodes. The show was very popular and aired in multiple countries including Spain.

In the year 1976, Argentina was ruled by a military dictatorship; but even in that hard political climate, a Mafalda movie was developed. It was released in 1981.

The last time Mafalda was animated was in the year 1993, with a short series titled Mafalda Animada; it was just a collection of strips turn into shorts.

Quino worked on over 20 different books and comics, but Mafalda became his best-known work. You can still see his legacy to this day in and all the generations Mafalda has touched.

The Propaganda Photographs of Silvino Santos

(Last Updated On July 10, 2022)

Silvino Simões Santos Silva was born in Portugal in 1886, and emigrated to Brazil in his youth. He began his career as a photographer and painter in Manaus, Brazil in 1911. Silvino Santos is most famous as a cinematographer filming documentaries about the Amazon region. He filmed No País das Amazonas in 1922. Theodor Koch-Grunberg’s explorations in South America were chronicled in Silva’s 1924 film No Rastro do Eldorado.

Santos was also a photographer of high repute, and early in his career, Julio César Arana commissioned Santos to film and photograph a very important inspection of his rubber production operations in the Putumayo River basin of Peru. Rubber was becoming much in demand during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Amazon rainforest was the main source of rubber at that time. Peruvian Amazon Company, owned by Julio César Arana, was one of the largest rubber companies. People would go out into the rainforest to find and tap rubber trees, then the latex would be brought to company outposts.

Silvino Santos – Una Mujer y su Hija (1912)

Local indigenous tribes were the only source of labor for collecting latex, and since most people would not voluntarily perform such hard labor for the low compensation, the tribes were captured and enslaved. Workers who did not return their quota of latex were beaten and tortured. Some Indians fought back, but were no match for the superior armament of the rubber companies. Some fled to the most remote parts of the rainforest. It is rumored that their descendants are still living in these remote areas, in tribes that still avoid any contact with the outside world. Over 30,000 Indians were killed in the Putumayo region alone. Julio Arana was responsible for mass murder, but he didn’t care as long as the profits kept rolling in.

Profits were threatened when reports of the atrocities in Amazonia reached Great Britain and the United States. These countries could put diplomatic pressure on Peru to stop the Peruvian Amazon Company. Stuart J. Fuller, United States Consul in Manaus; and George B. Mitchell, British Consul in Manaus, were dispatched to Peru on a joint mission to inspect the Peruvian Amazon Company operations in the Putumayo region in 1912. They would be accompanied by Carlos Rey de Castro, the Peruvian Consul and friend of Julio Arana. Rey de Castro hired Silvino Santos to be the expedition’s official photographer and make sure that the photos did not reflect negatively on the Peruvian Amazon Company.

Silvino Santos – El Capitán Francisco y sus Mujeres (1912)

Santos took over 200 photographs, of which 187 were chosen by Carlos Rey de Castro and Julio César Arana to be put in an album titled El Album de fotografias tomadas en Viage de la Comisión Cónsular al Rio Putumayo y afluentes-Agosto á Octubre 1912. At the time, this album was widely distributed in an attempt to refute the charges against the Peruvian Amazon Company. About a hundred years later, a single surviving copy was discovered and published on the internet here. Some of the photos include young girls, and are on-topic for Pigtails.

The first photo in this article shows a cute little girl standing beside her mother, who is seated. The caption of this photo, which was written in English, states “The husband of the lady sitting was eaten by the Boras.” Sympathy is intended for the little girl who lost her father, and the woman who lost her husband to the “savage wild Indian cannibals”. Showing how the good people of the rubber company brought the blessings of civilization to the Indians is a theme of the album. The Boras are of the Huitoto (aka Witoto) stock. They did not routinely practice cannibalism, but at times sought to gain courage from an enemy warrior by eating his flesh.

Silvino Santos – Parejas de Indios Jóvenes (1912)

Next is a photo of a Huitoto chief and his two wives. Santos posed them with interlocking arms, looking directly at the camera with dignified expressions. This was hoped to be seen as an example of the healthy, happy Indians working for the rubber company. No photo of anybody with scars from beatings will be in the album. Note that one of the wives was a child bride, a topic covered in a Pigtails article here.

Muchachos de Confianza (Trustworthy Boys) and their wives are the subject of the next photo. This is much like the previous photo. Indians employed by the Peruvian Amazon Company are dignified and healthy. At least half of the wives are too young for marriage by our standards. Females are in the front, perhaps because it was thought that nude females are more photogenic than the males. Muchachos de Confianza were Indian quislings who cooperated with the company to oppress others. When there were reports of abuse that could not be denied, Julio Arana attributed it to the excessive zeal of the Muchachos de Confianza.

Silvino Santos – Dos Matrimonios de Funuñas (1912)

The next photo, of two married couples, was meant to show Indians treated well by the rubber company, same as the previous two photographs. Another similarity to the previous photos is that the girls appear to be too young to be wives. Perhaps Silvino Santos emphasized adolescent girls and young women because he felt they would attract the most attention, and thus best serve the purpose of propaganda photographs.

Silvino Santos – Indios Jóvenes (1912)

Indios Jóvenes is the title given the next photo, even though the subjects are all female. Carlos Rey de Castro refers to them as “indias” in his note on the photo. Rey de Castro, in the note, asks why Mitchell (the British Consul) described the girls as “weak”. Rey de Castro asks if it could be because of their lack of modesty.

Silvino Santos – Huitotas Civilizadas (1912)

Huitotos Civilizadas is the title of the last photo by Santos in this article. The women and girls are shown as respectable civilized people like us, all because of the benefits provided by Julio César Arana and the Peruvian Amazon Company. Clothing in this photo seems to be fancy dress freshly laundered and put on for the photograph. The Huitoto tribes in the area did later adopt western-style clothing, but everyday dress was less formal than shown here.

Amazon Yanayacu Lodge – Familia de Nativos (circa2021)

Today, even many missionaries do not insist on western clothing. In the warm very humid rainforest climate, clothing that is not frequently changed and laundered provides a breeding place for bacteria and fungus that can adversely affect the health of the wearer. Today the Huitoto wear clothing like White Peruvians (estilo criollo), but some tribes in tourist areas have devised a new “Indian style” that they wear when tourists visit. The last photo shows 21st century Boras dressed tourist style. This is the same tribe that allegedly ate the husband of the woman in the first photo.

Eva Ionesco

(Last Updated On July 11, 2022)

Most of those familiar with the history of children in art have likely heard of the initial shock and controversy surrounding the young model Eva Ionesco. As a blog that seeks to explore the female child as she relates to art in all its forms, we would be remiss if we did not address Eva, despite the controversy. While we will be briefly covering her history in this post, there are some ethical questions that need to be addressed, and I shall attempt to do so in an unbiased and respectful manner.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (1)

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (2)

French photographer Irina Ionesco was well known for her unique style of mixing gothic and eroticism. Her works often included nude models in darkly-lit rooms with seemingly random objects strewn about. But she shocked the art world when she began photographing her daughter in similar scenarios. Irina began photographing Eva when she was only 5 years old in different states of dress. While there were some nudes from that time period, most of the photographs that are considered among the most controversial came about a little later. As she approached the age of 10, the nudes became more prominent and took on some heavy sexual undertones. Ionesco faced both praise and criticism, particularly with the release of her first book called Eva: In Praise of my Daughter. This, like many of her other publications included photographs of Eva in addition to several other models.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (3)

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (4)

Eva’s fame quickly skyrocketed as other photographers requested to use her in their photoshoots, most often in the nude. This includes an extensive portfolio entitled Eva, shot by French photographer Jacques Bourboulon when she was 11. His photos offer a stark contrast to Irina’s stylistically speaking, as most of them are vibrant and take place on a beach near his villa. Yet they turned out to be no less explicit. In 1976, a small collection of these photographs appeared in a very controversial issue of the Italian version of Playboy Magazine, making her the youngest model ever to appear in said publication. A year later, Penthouse would be the second major publication to publish photos of Eva, this time from one of Irina’s later collections. Both of these publications have since acknowledged that her inclusion in these issues may have been a mistake, as certain governments began censoring them.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (5)

She has since appeared in countless minor publications. In the months following, Eva’s career expanded to the silver screen, where she appeared in films like Puppy Love, and The Tenant, the former of which is banned in several countries under child pornography laws. It should be noted that in her pre-teen years, Eva has always looked older than she actually was as by this age her breasts were already prominent and she had a significant amount of pubic hair, which some have speculated could explain the level of intrigue her photos received from adult males.

Jacques Bourboulon – (Untitled) (1)

Jacques Bourboulon – (Untitled) (2)

Eva’s career as a nude model ended shortly thereafter when she was removed from her mother’s custody. She continued to appear in minor publications and television spots until she would re-emerge in the early 2000s to show the world the damage her mother had caused her, even going as far as to file a lawsuit against her. This laid bare the feud that existed between her and her mother in decades previous. With the help of her husband, Eva wrote a book entitled Innocence (2019) in which she details how demanding and insistent her mother was, particularly regarding the nude photography sessions. Today, the two are not on speaking terms, and only communicate through their lawyers.

Eva’s story is important to understand, particularly when it comes to the topic of children in art. It makes us ask where is the oftentimes blurred line between art and exploitation? It is hard to say whether or not Irina Ionesco was attempting to exploit her daughter for personal gain. However, she has described her mother as “demanding and abusive” many times in the books she has published. Censorship also needs to be addressed, and whether or not these adult magazines should have practiced more discretion when deciding whether or not to feature Eva as one of their models. On a personal note, I find it interesting that she is not smiling in the vast majority of her mother’s photos. Many critics, including those who vehemently oppose artistic censorship, find Irina’s photos Irina lacking in taste.

Another consideration that should be raised is that when photographing a child in the nude, one must do so keeping in mind how the child may feel about these photographs leading into adulthood, and how it may affect their lives. Some models, like Samantha Gates and her brother are proud of their past works, and enjoy the fame it has brought them. but this is not always the case. While reading the books Eva has published, it is clear that she wishes her past would simply fade into obscurity. She is resentful of Irina for turning her into an “object of lust”.

Regardless of whether or not one finds the photographs of Eva tasteful, or the opinion of the model herself, it is important that these photographs be seen, if for no other reason than to provoke an open dialogue about topics such as censorship, exploitation, and potential ramifications certain actions could have in time. Whatever your opinion on these issues may be, Eva’s book Innocence is definitely worth reading in order to grasp her personal feelings regarding her past. She also directed a movie called My Little Princess (2011), which explores the complex relationship between her and her mother. I have purposely left my allusions to these works broad in order to avoid spoiling it for those who wish to see for themselves.

Irina Ionesco – (Untitled) (6)

Maiden Voyages: July 2022

(Last Updated On July 2, 2022)

Registered Users: Since it has been necessary to restrict certain images to protect the site from complaints from people unaccustomed to our subject matter, as of today, there are 200 registered users with full access to the site in addition to a handful of site editors and administrators.

Yahoo Account Holders: One complaint is that yahoo.com seems to be overzealous in blocking automated emails from this site (all WordPress sites, actually). The emails don’t even appear in the junk folder. The only way to see these missing emails is to login to your email account directly and rummage through the spam folder. As a result, it has been an extra hassle registering those users.

Public Posts: In order to protect all unreviewed posts, they were all made private until I could go through them all and set each image to the proper status. Until a post is made public, keyword searches and saved URLs will not work. As of today only the first year of posts are left to be reviewed (I was working through the posts backwards). Because Pip was, at the time, doing one post a day, that still means a lot of posts to review so it will be a couple of weeks before all posts are publicly viewable. Since there have been a lot of images to go through, I may have made some mistakes, so if you think I have made a mistake with an image status, please let me know. Understand that some images are restricted at an artist’s request or to protect a model from stigma until she reaches the age of majority. In that case, I will usually indicate something to that effect at the beginning of the post.

New Writers: First of all, I would like to thank Moko for keeping the home fires burning with a couple new posts each month. He is discovering—like I did years ago—that the more you research, the more leads you find! But I am especially pleased that new writers like Marlin, Bob, Amanda and Zeklullaby have been producing new articles. I hope they find this process rewarding and are encouraged to continue; there is still a lot of material to get through. And if our adversaries can manage to leave us be for a bit, I might find time to get some posts up myself!

The Coppertone Girl: Pip was recently having a conversation with someone about the Coppertone baby and decided to do some research. One interesting item ihe found s a Coppertone commercial from 1990 posted on YouTube. He doesn’t remember having seen that spot at the time, but it definitely marked the end of an era. There’s a real little girl of 3 or 4 years going shirtless in it, and it hints at—but doesn’t quite imitate—the famous ad with bare-bottomed 3-year-old Cheri Brand, the daughter of the ad’s artist, Joyce Ballantyne Brand. There’s also a transcript of an interview with Cheri on NPR’s website. Another YouTube video outlines the history of the image and how it gradually became more and more modest.

Demise of the Century Project: Reader Jerrold has reported that Frank Cordelle of ‘The Century Project’ died last October. At the time I wrote that article, he objected to our focus on the young girls in his publication. To secure his cooperation, I did the post without images. With our new ability to protect images, we can at least make them available to registered users. Scanning and posting the intended images has recently been on my to-do list.

Strange Fruit: I consider myself an educated person and yet I manage to find that I am ignorant of many events of historic import. This is perhaps not surprising given the tense race relations in the United States and consequent bias of US History textbooks. A case in point is a controversial song first sung by Billie Holiday in 1939. At the time, lynching of Black people was still common and, in protest, she sang a song called Strange Fruit. Yes, this metaphor refers to the appearance of dead Black bodies hanging from tree branches after being subjected to various forms of torture and humiliation. The children were hardest hit because apart from those who traumatized then orphaned, often Black children themselves were fair game as victims. In an effort to find images to illustrate this story, I discovered a strange dichotomy. Some images were documentary and were used in civil rights movements to illustrate injustice but many more were taken by the attackers as a trophy and squirreled away in private photo collections to this day. Perhaps it is not surprising that Holiday received harassment for her audacity to bring such a subject to the public. At the time, there was still a strong effort to keep Black people in their place and so this form of protest was not considered acceptable by the establishment. In fact, Harry J. Anslinger, the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics seems to have gone out of his way to make Holiday’s life miserable, even having his men plant narcotics in her room so they would have a pretense to arrest her. Unsurprisingly, juries believed law enforcement’s story hook, line and sinker and Holiday would lose on court case after another.

Your Government Money at Work: I noticed a weird item while listening to a podcast about the life of Osama bin Laden. When his compound was finally stormed—and bin Laden himself killed—it was the military’s task to collect various items from the site for archiving. Among the materials was an extensive video collection. Somehow, it became the US Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) job to digitize it all and make it available to the public. A few items were excluded because they were subject to active copyright by companies like Disney. The entire list can be viewed here. Some items are unsurprising as they pertained one way or another to terrorist attacks, Jewish-Muslim animosity, the Koran or Islamic customs and practices. But, amusingly, conventional Western fare was discovered such as Disney films and episodes of Tom and Jerry. The odd thing that caught my attention was a short film of two post-toddler girls fighting (VID-001841). There isn’t much to it and it is not known if the girls are some relation to bin Laden. The troubling thing for me was that whoever was filming did not have the impulse to break the girls up.

US Postal History: I have run into this item a few times and have now listened to a podcast that went into a little more detail. When the United States Postal Service was first established, it had very simple rules. As often happens, people game the system and stricter rules are gradually implemented. But at first, customers could send anything they wanted so long as it weighed less than 50 pounds (22.68 kg). That’s right; some people sent their infant or toddler girls through the post—applying the appropriate postage on a sleeve attached to the girl’s wrist, for instance. In most cases, this was not some kind of human trafficking, but a cost-effective way to send a child to her grandparent’s house which was often on some local rural route nearby. Usually the postman was known personally and could be trusted to complete the delivery with his charge unharmed. The most extreme case was a child sent from Pensacola, FL to a relative in Virginia. As the FBI had not yet been established, prohibiting such activities was not exactly enforceable.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani

(Last Updated On June 22, 2022)

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani was born in Ro, Italy in 1942. He worked as a machinist before his career as a professional artist. In 1966 Mantovani moved to Berlin, Germany, and attended painting classes in his spare time. Mantovani wrote in his autobiography, “… since I was a child I have always felt the urge to translate thoughts and fantasies in images “. His first exhibition was in 1977, and he then devoted himself entirely to painting. His painting is inspired by Italian Renaissance painters in style, and to a lesser extent in subject matter. Viewing his paintings, I am reminded of Fra Angelico in his clear, realistic style and formal poses. Mantovani’s web page is here. It is worthwhile to visit and view more of his paintings.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Vogliamo Solo il Tuo Bene (1979)

Vogliamo Solo il Tuo Bene (We only want what’s good for you.) was painted in 1979. The statues are apparently advising the young girl, wearing only jewelry, about what is good for her. I could guess at further interpretation of this painting, but since I would only be guessing, I will leave it up to the reader to interpret the painting. Childhood is a recurrent theme of Mantovani. Many of his paintings feature children, especially girls.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – L’apoteosi di Pinocchia (1992)

L’apoteosi di Pinocchia (The apotheosis of Pinocchia), painted in 1992, features a young girl as Pinocchia rather than the customary boy Pinocchio. The scene is reminiscent of a Renaissance painting, although the man is in modern dress. Inclusion of strange details in the background is typical of Mantovani. I assume these details are significant, but can offer no theory of their meaning.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere (1995)

La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere (The Sensational Birth of Venus) is Mantovani’s version of a theme popular with Renaissance painters. In mythology, Venus is said to be born from the foam of the sea, and usually a humanoid mother is not involved, as in this painting. Above Venus is a honeycomb shaped like a heart. This “Wax Heart” is the subject of another painting (Il Cuore di Cera) by Mantovani. He often includes in his works allusions to other of his paintings.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Il Paletot Rosso (2006)

Il Paletot Rosso (The Red Coat) is the least surreal of the paintings in this post, yet it still evokes the feeling that there is more than meets the eye. The girl sits ten kilometers from Ferrara, in the Italian province where Mantovani was born. The cat in the lower right is frequently seen in Mantovani’s paintings. This painting is the first to be featured on the artist’s web page.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Paesaggio Eroico (2008)

Paesaggio Eroico (Heroic Landscape) depicts the artist when he was ten years old, admired by two girls from a previous painting. The girl on the left is also in L’apoteosi di Pinocchia and other paintings. The details in the background are also from other Mantovani paintings. Note La Nascita Sensazionale di Venere above and slightly left of Pinocchia’s head.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – Cupida (2010)

Cupida (the feminine of Cupid) is Mantovani’s version of Amor Vincit Omnia (Love conquers all, from Virgil) painted in 1602 by Caravaggio. In the painting by Caravaggio, Cupid is portrayed as a boy. Cupid traditionally is a boy, but Mantovani puts more emphasis on girls in his art. This is especially true of his nudes. Look at the paintings on the artist’s web page; you will see many female nudes, but all male figures are clothed.

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Sacra Famiglia (2012)

La Sacra Famiglia (The Holy Family) has the appearance of traditional paintings of the Holy Family. Even without the title and the halos, the pose and general background, and the multitude coming to adore them would have brought to mind paintings of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Mantovani spent much of his childhood in a Catholic orphanage and boarding school, and it shows in his painting. In this painting however, the child is a girl, and the family is dressed in modern clothing. They also have a dog. None of these details would be accurate for the actual Holy Family. Behind them and to the left is another family of a woman and two children, all with halos. Who are they?

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani – La Vendetta della Strega (2013)

La Vendetta della Strega (The Witch’s Revenge) is the last painting in this article. when I first saw this painting, I had the idea that the girl was floating in the sky, and appeared bigger than the buildings because she was closer to the observer. Then I noticed that one foot is on the ground behind a tree. The girl is a giant; she really is many times bigger than the trees and buildings. Except for the pentacles on the hem of her skirt, there is nothing to indicate she is a witch. It is a mystery, at least to me, for what she is exacting revenge.

Allan O’Marra

(Last Updated On June 11, 2022)

Allan O’Marra grew up in Bancroft, Ontario, and his art often features the natural beauty of central Ontario. He is an artist, an art teacher, and a psychotherapist. As a painter, his work includes both realistic and abstract images. O’Marra paints portraits, figures, landscapes, and still-life. According to the artist, he is “Aiming always to reflect the wonder of existence in all its beauty and complexities.”

Allan O’Marra – Sweet Thing (1979)

O’Marra began exhibiting his paintings in 1971. The first of ten paintings included in this article is Sweet Thing (1979). It is a relatively early work, but O’Marra has already mastered the realistic style. The lake in the background is typical of O’Marra, he often paints aquatic scenes.

Allan O’Marra – Aphrodite’s Child (1981)

Aphrodite’s Child (1981) is another figure of a girl at a lake; this one a nude. Most of his figures are clothed, but a few are nude.

Allan O’Marra – After the Swim (2005)

Allan O’Marra – We All Need Our Heroes (2011)

The next two paintings are After the Swim and We All Need Our Heroes. I have not been able to determine who the models are for these paintings. They have the feeling of O’Marra’s paintings of his own family.

Allan O’Marra – Naturists in a Grotto (2015)

Naturists in a Grotto shows a group of seven naturists, including both males and females, young and mature. O’Marra wrote, “This painting is from a series that I am working on that celebrates my fascination with the idea of family naturism—working from reference images found on naturist websites across the globe.” By using reference images from naturist web sites rather than his relatives or other live models, he had access to plenty of images of people of both sexes and all ages. In Naturists in a Grotto, six of the seven figures are female, and three are adolescent girls. Were young girls given prominence because, in O’Marra’s artistic judgement, they are most aesthetically pleasing?

Allan O’Marra – Sisters (2019)

Allan O’Marra – Ashlyn —Swimming in the Rain (2019)

I find Sisters appealing for the sisterly affection evident in the two girls. Ashlyn—Swimming in the Rain was inspired by the time the artist took his great niece swimming, and it started to rain.

Allan O’Marra – April (my granddaughter) (2021)

Allan O’Marra – Granddaughters (2021)

Allan O’Marra – Rayvin on the Fence (2021)

The last three paintings are some of O’Marra’s more recent work, and feature his family members. Allan O’Marra’s web page is here.

Maiden Voyages: June 2022

(Last Updated On June 4, 2022)

Yes, everybody; we are still here. This is a crucial stage in the site and organization where we must strategize how to survive in this environment.

“Protected” Images: I feel it was a sensible decision but it does pain me a bit that it has become necessary to protect certain image from prying eyes and those they report to not competent to make informed and rational decisions about the content we cover. No use crying over spilt milk. As an emergency measure, we had to change the status of most posts to private which mean non-registered readers will not see those posts. Now that we found a way to protect individual images, I am working back in time and making each post public again as I evaluate each image. It is important that the posts themselves are public so that those researching specific artists or themes can find the contributions of this site. As of this writing, I have released posts going back through 2017. All posts should be readily available in the next few days.

Registered Readers: I am pleased to announce that there is robust interest in full access to this site. Requests have been trickling in and over 100 users have now been registered. The good news is that a handful of materials that artists wanted to keep under wraps due to unwanted public scrutiny can now be made available to a limited number of viewers.

Pigtails Volunteer Recruitment Drive: The biggest problem with keeping this site going is the efforts of our supporters. In the early days, I had time to nurture the contributions of others but I have had much less time of late. In the coming month, I will be putting together a list of supporting positions that would help in the smooth operation of this site.

Agapeta‘s Domain Issues: I am pleased to report that the domain transfer codes to Agapeta have finally been released. In the mean time, a new domain agapeta.fr had to be used and still functions but now the original agapeta.art is now functioning again. I’m afraid Agapeta and the Graham Ovenden sites were the unwitting victims of attacks targeting this site.

Lukas Roels: I am delighted to report that images from Roels’ Angels Of Time are now publicly available. I confirmed with the artist that the images displayed by Galerie Ludwig Trossaert London were duly authorized by him.

Jogging the Collective Memory: Many times readers have shared memories of images they recall seeing in the past in the hopes of making an identification. Usually the descriptions are a bit too vague to offer much of a lead. However, a recent message gives details that are peculiar enough to be distinctive and perhaps one of our readers will recognize it. Anyone wishing to help, please send us a message.

Many decades ago I saw late 19th early 20th century (maybe 1900s) nude photographs depicting girls seated on short legged baroque chairs, one was looking with binoculars at a circular mirror on the ground oriented towards her, another photograph was a girl also on the same chair looking at white dog on the floor and another was a girl standing with the same chair behind her while looking at the circular mirror on the ground. All girls were wearing knee socks. So where can I find those plus all other similar work from the same photographer? [Text was edited for clarity. -Ron]