Gottfried Lindauer’s Maori Girl and the Tohunga

(Last Updated On October 22, 2021)

When I was looking for artwork for the Polynesian post, I found relatively few examples of girl art from the largest Polynesian islands, New Zealand. It was only recently I became aware of the work of Gottfried Lindauer.

Gottfried Lindauer – Tohunga under Tapu (circa1900)

Lindauer was born in Plzeň (Pilsen), in what is now the Czech Republic. He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and became a successful professional artist. In 1874 he emigrated to New Zealand to avoid the military draft. Lindauer came to admire the Maori culture; he specialized in painting the Maori. His life-size portraits of Maori chiefs are perhaps his best known works.

Tohunga under Tapu illustrates an incident described in the book Māori Biographies: Sketches of Old New Zealand by James Cowan and Gottfried Lindauer (1901). A tohunga is a Maori medicine man. The Maori considered the remains of the dead to be “tapu”, that is sacred and forbidden. When the tohunga, in the course of his religious duties, came in contact with the remains, he also became tapu for a time. While under the tapu, he could not touch food with his hands.

The tohunga had to eat as shown in the painting. Māori Biographies states that, “A little girl, quite naked, so that her garments may not be infected with the dangerous tapu, has brought the old man his food, a plaited flax kono or basket full of potatoes, and is half-fearfully feeding him with the boiled taewa stuck on the end of a long fern-stalk.”

The painting is now exhibited in Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand.

Shizuka Minamoto of Doraemon

(Last Updated On October 22, 2021)

Shizuka Minamoto is the female lead for the Japanese Doraemon manga and anime. Doraemon is one of the best known cartoons in the world, and Shizuka is perhaps the most widely recognized girl in cartoons and comics today. Before we get into detail about Shizuka, let’s give a brief account of Doraemon.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1990)

Nobita Nobi is the protagonist of the stories. He is a lazy boy of about ten years of age who is constantly getting into trouble and being bullied. Gian, a nickname derived from the English word giant, is a boy of the same age, but much bigger, who bullies Nobita. Suneo is an arrogant rich boy. Gian and Suneo are sometimes Nobita’s friends, and other times his adversaries, depending on what is needed to make a funny story. Shizuka is Nobita’s love interest, and is always his friend.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1986)

Doraemon is a big robot cat sent from the future by Nobita’s descendent, Siwashi, to attempt to help Nobita succeed in life. One of the things Doraemon will do is to ensure that Nobita will marry Shizuka, not Gian’s bratty little sister Jaiko, when he grows up. Nobita questions if this will be a problem because Siwashi is descended from him and Jaiko; if he marries Shizuka, will Siwashi cease to exist? Siwashi assures Nobita there will be no problem; different routes can lead to the same future. The manga pages in this article were originally in Japanese, so they are to be read right to left.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1981)

In a typical Doraemon story, Nobita will have a problem. Doraemon will provide Nobita with a high technology gadget from the future that works like magic to help solve the problem. Nobita misuses the gadget and ends up worse off than he was at the start.

Fujiko Fujio – Shizuka Minamoto (1985)

Of the five main characters; Doraemon, Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, and Suneo; Shizuka is the only female. She is also the only human character not primarily defined by a major fault. Nobita is a loafer, Gian a ruffian, and Suneo is pompous. Shizuka is hardworking, sweet, and always loyal to her friends. She can get angry at times, when necessary for the story; and she is obsessed with cleanliness. Her worst shortcoming, which is common to all Doraemon characters, is that she never realizes until it is too late that there could be a downside to playing around with supernatural future technology. Were it not for this shortcoming, there would be no Doraemon stories.

Fujiko Fujio – First Appearence of Shizuka Minamoto (1970)

The stories covered in this article are the mangas (non-animated comics) created by Fujiko Fujio from 1969 through 1996. Fujimoto Hiroshi and Motoo Abiko collaborated under the penname Fujiko Fujio to make Doraemon. Hiroshi died in 1996, and the canonical stories thus ended then. There were 1,345 stories published in 45 volumes from 1970 to 1996. In addition, 16 long stories (Daichōhen Doraemon) were written and drawn by Fujiko Fujio from 1980 through 1996. More stories and animated cartoons were written and drawn by others, but this article does not focus on those. The dates given in the captions to the illustrations are the dates of publication for the book in which the story appeared. Often, the story may have been written a year prior. Several stories written but not published during the lifetime of Fujimoto Hiroshi were published years later as Doraemon Plus. The Japanese Foreign Ministry designated Doraemon as Japan’s anime ambassador in 2008.

Fujiko Fujio – Bypass Spyglass in English (1974)

If you read reviews of Doraemon, you may get the idea that Shizuka appears nude in most of the stories. This is not true. Shizuka has no nude scene in the vast majority of the stories, but reviewers tend to dwell on those stories that do have nudity. I will also emphasize these stories, because in doing so I hope to provide some insight into the controversies about nudity in art. Most of the illustrations used in this article contain nudity, but only because I specifically chose them for that reason. They are not a random representative sample of Doraemon pages.

Fujiko Fujio – Over Exaggerating Overcoat (1977)

It is interesting to note the time periods in which nude scenes occur in the manga. Volumes 1 through 17 of the Doraemon books were published 1970 through 1979. Nudity is very rare in this period, and when there is a naked character, it is one of the boys more often than it is Shizuka. Shizuka’s first “nude scene” that I could find is in the Bypass Spyglass story of 1974. You may question if that is really a nude scene; even though Shizuka is in the bathtub, only her face is visible. Shizuka also has an imagined undressing scene in the Over Exaggerating Overcoat story of 1977. During 1970–1979 Nobita does not intentionally try to spy on Shizuka when she is naked. Her nude scenes are accidental.

Fujiko Fujio – Ten Minutes Delayed ESP (1983)

Two things are peculiar about the undressing scene in Over Exaggerating Overcoat. The first thing is Nobita’s reaction; he panics more at Shizuka’s undressing than he did earlier in the story at their encounter with a dinosaur, a giant snake, and a pirate. It is as if he is more disturbed by the idea of Shizuka without clothing than he is by the idea of Shizuka being eaten by a giant snake. The other peculiar thing is that Shizuka wears a slip under her clothing so she can be shown undressing without exposing any more of her body than if she were fully dressed. The boys in Doraemon on the other hand, were depicted fully nude occasionally in the 1970s. My opinion is that Fujiko Fujio were trying to follow what they thought were societal norms of decency. Later they learned that these norms were defined by a small minority. They were vocal enough to create the illusion that many people shared their views, but they were actually so few that Fujiko Fujio could not cater to them and sell a lot of comics to make the optimal amount of money.

Fujiko Fujio – Later Album (1984)

The next period begins with Volume 18 in December 1979 and continues through Volume 38 in 1986. Daichōhen Doraemon stories began in 1980, and by 1986, eight Daichōhen stories were published. During this period nudity was very much more common, and it was usually Shizuka who was nude. If it was not Shizuka, it was likely to be another female character, although the boys continued to have occasional nude scenes. Also during this time, Nobita intentionally sought opportunities to see Shizuka naked. Some nude scenes during 1979–1986 seem to be gratuitously added for fan service.

Fujiko Fujio – Ventriloquist Robot (1984)

In the 1983 story Ten Minutes Delayed ESP, Nobita has an uncontrollable ESP that allows him to see through Shizuka’s clothes when he was actually trying to see into Gian’s pocket. Compare this scene with the one from 1977’s Over Exaggerating Overcoat. in 1977 Shizuka is in underwear, but in 1983 she appears naked. Nobita is alarmed by Shizuka’s lack of clothing in both stories, because it adds humor to the situation. In stories published after December 1979, however, Nobita is more often pleased than alarmed by Shizuka’s nudity.

Fujiko Fujio – Water Cycle Medicine (1985)

An example of a story in which Nobita seems happy to spy on Shizuka is the 1984 story Later Album. Look at the faces of Nobita and Doraemon; they appear delighted to have an album of nude photos of Shizuka. Their dialogue tells a different story. Nobita can choose any person, date, and time; and the magic photo album will produce a photo of that person as he or she appears at the designated time. Nobita wants a clothed photo of Shizuka that he can use as a model for his art homework assignment of drawing his best friend. Whenever he designates a date and time for a photo of Shizuka, she happens to be taking a bath at the time. This is, at least superficially, a satire of Doraemon critics who claim that Shizuka is usually in her bath, even though actually she is rarely shown in her bath. The bath scenes are not common, but they are remembered, by both fans and critics, more than other scenes.

Fujiko Fujio – Blind Spot Star (1989)

Can we view Later Album on another level as satirizing Nobita for using a contrivance to obtain nude photos, when he could have found some clothed photos for his assignment if he had tried? Is Nobita only pretending to be frustrated because he can find only nude photos? I think the author intended for us to see that in the story. Unfortunately, I am not an expert in the subtleties of Japanese humor, so I can only offer this as a suggestion.

Fujiko Fujio – Indoor World Travel Set (2005)

Another 1984 story, Ventriloquist Robot, is interesting in that a robot, speaking through Nobita, tells Shizuka that nudity is artistic and innocent and she should not be annoyed when Nobita sees her naked. The robot has the power to make people believe anything it says. A page from the 1985 story Water Cycle Medicine is illustrated here to show how the scene was later changed for anime versions.

Fujiko Fujio – The Kingdom of Clouds (1991)

No Doraemon book was published in 1987, and from 1988 through 1996 there is significantly less nudity than 1979–1986. In the story Blind Spot Star (1989), Nobita uncharacteristically refuses to spy on Shizuka in the bath when he has an opportunity to do so. In the end, he gets blamed for peeping even though he did not. Nobita spies on Shizuka in the posthumously published story Indoor World Travel Set, but we don’t know when this story was written. The decline in the number of nude scenes is less evident in the long stories. Note two things about Shizuka’s shower in the long story The Kingdom of Clouds (1991). First, the shower is pure fan service; it does nothing to advance the plot or to add humor. Second, note that Shizuka’s body is drawn more curvaceous in the shower than when she is clothed.

Omasomas – Doraemon Fan Art (c2015)

Why did the frequency of Shizuka’s nudity fluctuate, increasing to the mid 1980s then decreasing? I can only offer an hypothesis. Perhaps there was very little nudity of Shizuka in Doraemon during the first years of publication simply because the author did not think of too many plots that would involve nudity. Like any successful author of a multi-year series, Fujiko Fujio listened to their fans. People who bought and read Doraemon wanted more nude scenes for Shizuka, so that was what they got. This made Doraemon even more popular, but eventually it became too popular. Doraemon was so well-known that it was known even to busy bodies who did not buy or read the manga, but who fancied themselves to be guardians of public morals with the right to decide what others should be able to buy or read. Pressure was put on Doraemon to decrease the nudity, and so it happened.

Fujiko Fujio – Little Star Wars (1985)

Doraemon has inspired a lot of fan art. Sometimes it is obvious from the art style that it is not an original Doraemon illustration. An example of this is the picture by Omasomas of Nobita and Doraemon with Shizuka in her bathroom. Sometimes it is not obvious, as in the original (but translated into English) and fan art versions of a picture from Little Star Wars. This is interesting because earlier in the genuine adventure, a shrunken Shizuka tries on her doll’s clothing, then takes a bath in the dollhouse, then hurriedly grabs some clothing (her own) as she gets out of the tub. Later in the story, when she returns to normal size, her clothing also returns to normal. In the fan art version, Shizuka grabs a set of doll clothing as she leaves her bath. Then when she returns to normal size, she bursts out of the doll clothes which were already normal size. I get the idea that Fujiko Fujio originally intended for Shizuka to burst out of her clothes, but changed his mind. If that were not his intention, there would be no reason for Shizuka to try on doll clothes earlier in the story.

Anonymous – Little Star Wars Fan Art Version (no date)

In the fan art version of a picture from Little Star Wars Shizuka says, “The effect of the small light [shrinking ray] has expired!” Perhaps the fan artist changed her dialogue when he edited the picture to remove Shizuka’s clothes. Perhaps the translator of the English version of the authentic story changed Shizuka’s speech.

ArcRoyale – Water Cycle Medicine Censored and Reconstructed Anime (2017)

Anime is harder to study than manga, because there can be several different anime versions of the same story. We may not know who made or edited a particular version, when it was done, in what country it was done, and whether it was done by a professional studio or an amateur. Compare the page from the Water Cycle Medicine manga story with the last two illustrations. One shows two versions of the scene from the 2005 anime television series. The bottom picture is the artist’s reconstruction of the original anime, which apparently no longer exists. In 2006 the studio succumbed to the critics and added steam to censor the cartoon. The top picture is the censored 2006 version. The next illustration is the 2019 version of the anime with only Shizuka’s head and shoulders visible.

Anonymous – Water Cycle Medicine Anime (2019)

One might think that after 2019, the proponents of censorship would be celebrating their victory over Doraemon. Instead, a petition was started in December 2020 to demand that bath scenes from older anime stop being shown on television, and that a warning notice be attached to animes informing the viewer that peeping in bathrooms is illegal.

Angela Mia De la Vega

(Last Updated On October 20, 2021)

Angela Mia de la Vega’s sculpture inspires a feeling of joy. Looking at her work, adjectives like bright, dynamic, and exhilarating immediately come to mind, but it is much easier to give examples of her work than it is to describe them. De la Vega began sculpting in bronze in 1994, focusing her work on children, especially girls. De la Vega said “In the end, I want my work to be remembered as something that inspires and awakens tenderness of spirit—something within us that allows us to stop and appreciate the more important things like family and love.”

Angela Mia de la Vega – Joyful Empowerment (2015) (1)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Joyful Empowerment (2015) (2)

Anonymous – Photo of Angela Mia de la Vega and Joyful Girl – (c2010)

Angela was born in El Paso, Texas. Her family moved to Pennsylvania when she was seven years old. She showed interest in sculpture as a child. She graduated summa cum laude from Clarion University with a BFA in Sculpture and Art History. She met Antemio de la Vega in El Paso and the two were married. They still live in El Paso.

The first five photos feature De la Vega’s Joyful Girl, my personal favorite of her works. The first two show the girl literally, as well as figuratively on top of the world at the Banc First in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Angela Mia de la Vega – Joyful Girl (c2010) (3)

Angela Mia De la Vega – Joyful Girl and Pirate (c2010)

Tiny Dancer captures the grace and poise of a young ballerina in a realistic pose. Bloom, on the other hand, portrays a girl as a blooming flower.

Angela Mia de la Vega – Tiny Dancer (2011)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Bloom (2016)

Two versions of Painting with Music are shown below. Sculpture acknowledges painting and music in a celebration of art. Note the squirrel and bird peeking out of the log.

Angela Mia de la Vega – Painting Music (c2000) (1)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Painting Music (c2000) (2)

Angela Mia De la Vega said, “I sculpt compositions that tell love stories, either those of others or my own. I like to imagine this as a bridge of humanity that connects my heart with that of another.” This statement applies to all of her art. Four examples that I like a lot are Crowned Jewel, Pivotal Moment with Fox, Bon Temps Rouler, and Lift Her With Butterflies. The artist said about Lift Her With Butterflies that ” As a mother of two girls and one son, I see this sculpture as a celebration of the growth of our children as they are encouraged and loved by family and friends around them.”

Angela Mia de la Vega – Crowned Jewel (c2015)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Pivotal Moment with Fox (c2010)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Bon Temps Rouler (c2010)

Angela Mia de la Vega – Lift Her with Butterflies (c2010)

Sunshine Every Day was created at the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before she decided on a career in art, De la Vega considered becoming a pediatrician. Angela said, “We are in this storm together, and our children are the Sunshine Every Day.”

Angela Mia de la Vega – Sunshine Every Day (2020)

There Was A Little Girl With A Wee Little Curl was inspired by the rhyme:

There was little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad,
She was horrid!

 

Angela Mia de la Vega – There Was A Little Girl With A Wee Little Curl (c2010)

Anonymous – Angela Mia de la Vega Working on Whirlwind (c2010)

Frederick Monsen

(Last Updated On October 17, 2021)

Frederick Monsen was born in Norway in 1865. Sources differ as to when his family immigrated to Utah, but they agree that it was when Frederick was still young. He was a professional artist, topographer, writer and photographer. He joined the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1880s, and accompanied the Army during the Apache campaign that ended with the capture of Geronimo in 1886. From 1886 through 1911 he traveled throught the southwestern United States often living with Native Americans and photographing their lives. Monsen wrote, “Only to be among these Indians, to hear them talk and to observe their treatment of one another and of the casual stranger that is within their gates, is to have forced upon one, the realization, that here is the unspoiled remnant of a great race, a race of men who have, from time immemorial, lived quiet, sane, wholesome lives, very close to nature.” Three of his photographs have been posted in Pigtails here.

Frederick Monsen; “Dr. Monsen and Indian Children of Yuma Tribe, Colorado River, Arizona”; ca. 1900; Toned gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; P1991.12.3

Other prominent photographers that documented the traditional Indian life of that time were Charles Lummis, Kate Cory, and Edward Curtis. Monsen differed from his contemporaries in that he included far more images of children, especially girls, in his work. The photo of the girl and her dog was labeled on the back by Monsen, “Hopiland. Arizona. Hopi children are most attractive. One wonders why it is that Indian children are so much more tractable and kindly disposed than white children. This is perhaps due to the attitude of the parents who never speak harshly to the little ones. Children are never punished and yet are most obedient youngsters.”

Frederick Monsen – Popomana, Hopi maiden of Shongopovi (c1890)

Another difference between Monsen and his contemporaries is that Monsen did not go out of his way to avoid nudity. Monsen wrote on the tag for A Study in Bronze, posted here, “Hopiland. Arizona. When Dr. Monsen first visited the Hopi Indians (1886), very few clothes were in evidence. Fully developed girls were often seen wandering about the pueblos or engaged in household duties without a stitch of anything to cover their nakedness. They attracted no attention from the male members of the community, and not until clothing was insisted upon by the missionaries was there any lapse from the tribal laws of morality. Photograph. A Study in Bronze.”

Frederick Monsen – Hopi Baby, First Mesa, Arizona (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – Hopi Baby from the Pueblo of Oraibi (c1890)

He wrote on the tag for the photograph here “Hopi maidens of Walpi, Arizona. During the summer months no clothing is necessary or required and the children enjoy great freedom. Unless missionaries are in evidence, the children until they are 10 or 12 years old run about naked.” Another print of the same photo was labeled by Monsen as Sichomovi instead of Walpi. Both are Hopi Pueblos. The Hopi live on a reservation in Arizona, in homes traditionally built of stone. They speak an Uto-Aztecan language. The following two photos show girls dressed for cool weather and with the elaborate hair style that is typical of the Hopi.

Frederick Monsen – Popomana (Gray Butterfly), Hopi Maiden (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – Hair Styling (c1890)

The next five photographs are Hopi girls from various pueblos. Yeshima was from Oraibi Pueblo, Arizona, which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in the United States. Acoma, New Mexico disputes that claim. Both Oraibi and Acoma have been inhabited at least as far back as the twelfth century.

Frederick Monsen – Hopi Children of the Pueblo of Walpi (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – Hopi Girl, Pueblo of Mishongnovi (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – Portrait of Young Hopi Girl Called Little Blue Butterfly (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – The Daughter of the Chief, Loluloma, Shoshongnovi (c1890)

Frederick Monsen – Yeshima, Young Girl of the Pueblo of Oraibi (c1890)

Talimka and Yalatza lived in Hano Pueblo, which is on the Hopi reservation and associated with the Hopi Tribe, but the people there are ethnically Tewa. Hano people are presently trilingual; they speak their native Tewa dialect, similar to the language of some tribes in New Mexico. They also speak Hopi and English.

Frederick Monsen – Talimka and Yalatza, Sisters Pueblo of Hano (c1890)

The three girls standing on the sand were from Acoma, New Mexico. Monsen labeled the photograph as follows: “Acoma, New Mexico. A pueblo of the Keresan family of Indians situated on a rock mesa 357 high about 60 miles west of the Rio Grande river. At the time the picture was made (1887) the young girls were often seen naked, in fact very little clothing was worn by any of the Acomas.” Most of Monsen’s photos are labeled with only a few words describing what was photographed and where. A few have more comments, but even those do not usually have dates. This is one of the few Monsen photos that can definitely be attributed to a particular year. The year, 1887, was early in Monsen’s Indian photography experience.

Frederick Monsen – Three Young Acoma Indian Girls Standing Together on the Sand (1887)

Early in the twentieth century, the book With Kodak in the Land of the Navajo was written and illustrated by Frederick Monsen, and published by the Eastman Kodak Company. The book can be considered an advertisement for Kodak. Monsen writes of the difficulties in using the old tripod mounted cameras with fragile glass negatives. Long exposure times required unnatural poses. Indians who had never seen a camera were intimidated by what appeared to them to be some kind of weapon. Monsen wrote, ” It was early in my experience that I realized how utterly all photographs failed to show the Indian as he really was. … because it was impossible to make anything else with the photographic apparatus of that day.” Then Monsen started using small Kodak cameras and he was able to take much better pictures, in his estimation. You can compare the photo of the three Acoma girls taken in 1887 with the photos of Mojave children, taken circa 1911, and see if you agree.

The next three photos are of girls of the New Mexico Pueblo tribes.

Frederick Monsen – Acoma Children at Home (c1887)

Frederick Monsen – The Daughter of the Governor of Isleta (c1900)

Frederick Monsen – Young girls of Isleta Indian Pueblo (c1900)

The next two photos are of girls of the Navajo and Zuni tribes. It’s amazing that Yanaba could have the skill to weave rugs at only five years of age.

Frederick Monsen – Yanaba, Five-Year-Old Navajo Blanket Weaver (c1900)

Frederick Monsen – Zuni Girl Mothering Little Sister (c1900)

The last three photos are some of Monsen’s latest work among Indians. They are photos taken in the area where the Colorado River forms the border between California and Arizona. Other photos from this area show girls with long hair and boys with shorter hair. In the photo Mojave Indian Children on the Banks of the Colorado River in Arizona I believe the smaller of the two sitting children is a boy, and the other two are girls. I believe that both children in Mojave Indians, California are girls. The surviving Monsen photographs are apparently those used in his public lectures or books, most of which had subjects posed discretely so their sex was often not obvious.

Frederick Monsen – Mojave Indian Children on the Banks of the Colorado River in Arizona (c1910)

Frederick Monsen – Mojave Indians, California (1911)

Frederick Monsen – Yuma Indian Girl (c1910)

All of Monsen’s original photographs taken prior to 1906 were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake. Fortunately, prints of some of the photographs were in collections outside of San Francisco, and these have survived.

Maiden Voyages: October 2021

(Last Updated On October 5, 2021)

I have learned many things in the course of managing this website, but lately the most prominent thing is that it is easier to censor than to follow due process. I would like to apologize at this time to RIPE NCC because we were led to believe they were responsible for this latest interference. It is clear now that they did not block our site. The misunderstanding arose from a complaint from Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) which resulted in someone else placing the block. We assumed that since RIPE is the proper organization to order such an action, that it was they who did it. But internet providers have an incessant tendency to err on the side of conservatism and often take precipitant action instead of observing standing procedures and the due process of law. We have opened communication with CCCP and RIPE to keep tabs on things and to demonstrate our willingness to listen to concerns reported by the public. We have also requested a service ticket with the internet provider we believe is actually responsible in the hopes that they can see their way clear to follow reasonable practices, keep us in the loop and not to take summary action based on the say-so of an overzealous organization claiming to act for the greater good.

We cannot make any promises about future service interruptions but we will act with due diligence to keep things running here. We will continue to put a mirror up to society’s face and get them to notice, with whatever discomfort, who we are as human beings and resist the temptation to scapegoat others for our own shortcomings.

Favorite Quote: There is a quote by Laurie Lee that is a favorite of Graham Ovenden’s. In fact, he quotes it so much, I’ve gotten kind of sick of it! So I was surprised to learn that this quote is virtually impossible to find on the internet. I wanted to post it here last month, but I couldn’t find a copy of it. Graham was kind enough to forward a copy which appears in a the Garage Press edition of his monograph. And for your information, the quote was not just taken out of context. Lee was a fan of Graham’s work, wrote an introduction to his original monograph and made this statement in reaction to efforts to censor and persecute him.

… I well remember when my own Cider with Rosie was first published how some moralists picked on the natural sensuality of girlhood and tried their utmost to defame this series of essays based on my boyhood experiences. I hardly dare write this, but I now wish I had been more forthright in showing certain members of the public their puerile actions and minds, for they are the true pornographers. Laurie Lee, 1988

Cooperation: One of the positive effects of reaching out to RIPE is that we were invited to participate in their Cooperation Working Group or Anti-Abuse Working Group. Although this would add some more bureaucracy in our world, what is at stake is having our voices heard in a forum which monitors and regulates behavior standards in the publicly accessible internet in most of the world.

Protestations of Protection: I was informed by the Prostasia Foundation that the CCCP (also referred to as C3P) has been on their radar and that they will be publishing an exposé on the organization soon. The details are too extensive to go into here, but essentially it is a private organization receiving public funds and yet is not subject to reasonable rules of transparency. Their recent launch of Project Arachnid was designed with the idea that not enough illegal content is getting reported while law enforcement actually has their hands full with legitimate investigations. Arachnid is an automated system which does not carefully distinguish between legitimate content and illegal and so numerous above-board sites are getting reported when they shouldn’t. This process actually contributes to the harm of children because it draws law enforcement attention away from serious issues that need it.

Abduction of Helen by Theseus by Fortunino Matania

(Last Updated On September 2, 2021)

This illustration by Chevalier Fortunino Matania is the artist’s conception of the abduction of Helen as a child by Theseus.

Fortunato Matania – The Abduction of Helen by Theseus (1929)

Fortunino Matania was born in 1881 in Naples, Italy. He began working at his father’s art studio when he was nine years old. By the time he was 14, he was a professional illustrator for a magazine. His work was featured in British, French, and Italian magazines of the early to mid-20th century. During World War I he was noted for his realistic illustrations of war at a time when many artists attempted to glamorize the subject.

After the war, he created illustrations of ancient life for the British women’s magazine Britannia and Eve. This picture of Theseus and Helen was published in Britannia and Eve in 1929.

According to Greek legend, Helen was the most beautiful female who ever lived. She was the daughter of the Greek God Zeus and a mortal woman, Leda. The great hero Theseus, famed slayer of the Minotaur, was promised that he could have a daughter of Zeus as a wife. Theseus chose Helen, and kidnapped her. He intended to keep her until she was old enough to marry, but Helen was rescued before then. Hellanicus, writing in the 5th century BC, claimed that Helen was seven years old when abducted. Diodorus Siculus, of the first century BC, wrote that Helen was ten years old. Ten years after the abduction by Theseus, Helen was kidnapped (or eloped) again and taken to Troy. This incident started the Trojan War, and Helen became known as Helen of Troy.

Stories of Helen, Theseus and other Bronze Age Greek heros were generally seen as entirely fictional before the archeological expeditions of Heinrich Schliemann in the 19th century. Schliemann was able to demonstrate that many of these stories are probably based on true events. Further archeological research has provided more evidence, and in August 2021, according to an article in GreekReporter, the remains of the Trojan Horse were excavated. The abduction of Helen by Theseus is probably not true. Scholars think that the real Theseus lived in the 8th–9th century BC. Helen of Troy was a young adult at the time of the Trojan War in the 12th century BC, and therefore could not have been abducted by Theseus.

The story behind this illustration cannot tell us what actually happened in Bronze Age Greece, but may give us some insight into 20th century England. Matania said that he usually included female nudes in his illustrations for Brttannia and Eve because, “The public demanded it. If there was no nude, then the editor or I would get a shower of letters from readers asking politely why not.”

The fact that the public demanded nudes indicates that people find the female form to be aesthetically pleasing. The fact that this demand came from readers of a women’s magazine indicates that women as well as men enjoy female nudes; it is not an entirely sexual thing. The fact that Matania, an experienced illustrator who knew how to please the public, satisfied the demand for nudes with a nude young girl indicates that appreciation of the girl’s appearance is common.

Maiden Voyages: September 2021

(Last Updated On September 5, 2021)

At Last! As most readers know, Pigtails in Paint and allied sites (Agapeta and Graham Ovenden’s sites) were shut down by order of the UK police. Backups of the sites were then transferred to a new host. However, in the case of the Ovenden sites, the previous host kind of screwed us over by using an unconventional format for those sites, so information regarding their proper reconstitution was not included. Therefore, the sites had to be assembled by hand which took time and money. But I am pleased to announce that the Graham Ovenden personal website and Garage Press website (Graham’s publishing enterprise) are now operational. Because of Graham’s history with persecution, both sites cannot receive comments or messages. Graham has authorized Pigtails in Paint to serve as a public relation liaison. If you have any questions or are interested in Garage Press publications, please use the contact form on this site.

Fund Raising Protocols: Because of the extra effort of reestablishing Graham’s sites, some extra expenses have been accrued (up to about US$1000). Fortunately, we are in the process of being able to accept donations to help with the running of this site and keep Graham’s sites online indefinitely. I know we have mentioned this before but our new host is going to help with this so it can actually happen.

Pigtails Communications Glitches: During the process of switching hosts, there are always some things that slip through the cracks. One is that I had no idea comments and the Contact Form were not operating correctly. I apologize for the inconvenience and I can assure readers that the problems have been rectified.

Promises, Promises: Although Pip founded this site and there are key contributors to this site, I am inclined to regard this site as belonging to the readers. Part of that requires that those who have interesting information should submit contributions so they can be shared with other readers. I am at your disposal for editing services if you lack confidence in your writing. Those of you who have promised articles—you know who you are—please follow through. We are only as good as our contributors. I will resume writing new articles myself when I feel that our key databases are up-to-date (‘Artists by Name’ and ‘Pigtails Library Index’).

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back: The beginning of the end for Pigtails under our old host were the controversial images of the Debbie Dreschler post. We were required to remove them to stay operational. This was an almost amusing piece or irony since the artist’s purpose was to make readers aware of the realities of child sexual abuse. Now that we are no longer under UK jurisdiction, I have restored those images. There are also plans to include redacted images from a couple other posts. Readers will be advised when we make any changes.

Always Under Siege:  Although Pigtails has been around for over ten years, we are still subject to persistent attack. When a DDOS (Denial of Service) attack takes place, readers are unable to reach the site due to excessive processing volume. Internet hosts usually keep a database of IPs to block but because this information was not passed from the old host, these attacks have resumed. It will take time to block all these individuals again so be patient if you can’t reach the site at first. Over time, service should become more and more reliable. Sometimes, it is necessary to change this site’s IP address. If you use a shortcut to visit our site, please make sure it is a URL (web address) shortcut and not one that uses our IP directly as we have to sometimes change it with no notice.

Janet Scudder

(Last Updated On August 20, 2021)

Janet Scudder was born in Indiana in 1869. She enjoyed drawing as a child, and upon graduation from high school enrolled in the Cincinnati Art Academy. In her first year, she decided that she would be a sculptor.

The 1892–1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ expedition to America, was perhaps the greatest event held in 19th century America. Laredo Taft was commissioned as a sculptor for the event. At the time, women were not as accepted in art as they are now. Taft wanted to hire a few talented women, including Scudder as assistants, but first he had to confirm that the director would allow him to hire female assistants. The director said that Taft could hire anybody, even a bunch of white rabbits if they could get the work done. The women were hired, and were nicknamed the White Rabbits.

Janet Scudder – Young Diana (c1910) (1)

In 1894 Scudder went to Paris, and from then on divided her time between Europe and America. She had studios in both New York and Paris, and became well known among artists and the public on both sides of the Atlantic. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement.

Janet Scudder – Young Diana (c1910) (2)

Young Diana, one of Scudder’s most famous pieces, was created early in the 20th century. Betty Burroughs, daughter of the painter Bryson Burroughs and sculptor Edith Burroughs, was the model for Young Diana. Diana, patron deity of hunting, is usually depicted as an adult woman with a bow and arrow. Scudder’s choice of a young girl instead of a woman proved to be very popular. Several versions of the figure were produced, four of which are shown here.

Janet Scudder – Young Diana (c1910) (3)

Janet Scudder – Young Diana (c1910) (4)

Indiana, Scudder’s native state, celebrated its centennial in 1916. Janet Scudder was commissioned by the state to design the official commemorative medallion. A nude girl stands by Columbia on the obverse of the medallion. Indiana in 1916 was a conservative and devoutly religious state, and remains so today. Today it is unlikely that an official state medallion would include a nude girl in its design. People were apparently more open-minded in 1916.

Janet Scudder – Indiana Medallion (1916)

Scudder gave use of her house near Paris to the Red Cross and YMCA for the duration of World War I. She also worked as a Red Cross volunteer at times during the war. For this service, she was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 1925. After being exposed to the suffering of war, Scudder was dismayed that many public statues in post-war America seemed to celebrate the war. Scudder said, “I won’t add to this obsession of male egotism …My work was going to make people feel cheerful and gay, nothing more!”

Janet Scudder – Seaweed Fountain (1914) (1)

Janet Scudder – Seaweed Fountain (1914) (2)

Janet Scudder – Seaweed Fountain (1914) (3)

Many of Scudder’s sculptures were intended to be the center pieces of fountains. The following photos show some of her fountain statues.

Janet Scudder – La Douche (1916)

Janet Scudder – Young Girl With A Shell Fountain – (no date) (1)

Janet Scudder – Young Girl With A Shell Fountain – (no date) (2)

Janet Scudder – Young Girl With Frogs Fountain – (no date)

Beatrice by Francesco Messina

(Last Updated On August 2, 2021)

Francesco Messina (1900–1995) was one of the best known Italian sculptors of the 20th century. His most famous works include the monument to Pope Pius XII in the Vatican, the Dying Horse logo of Italian National Television, and this statue, Beatrice. Messina sculpted Beatrice in 1959.

Francesco Messina – Beatrice (1959)

The full size Beatrice stands 57 inches tall, approximately life-size. According to Wikipedia, Beatrice is at South Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. I could not find an image of the Beatrice at SMU, but other full size statues are in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and in Tsurumai Park in Nagoya, Japan. In addition to these, smaller copies of Beatrice are common on art auction sites.

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in State Hermitage Museum, Russia (1959) (1)

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in State Hermitage Museum (1959) (2)

What is it about this statue that makes it so popular throughout the world? There is nothing too exciting about the ordinary standing pose or the calm facial expression. What makes Beatrice special is the beauty of the young model.

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in Nagoya, Japan (1959) (1)

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in Nagoya, Japan (1959) (2)

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in Nagoya, Japan (1959) (3)

Francesco Messina – Beatrice in Nagoya, Japan (1959) (4)

Why did Messina give this work the title Beatrice? My guess is that it is a reference to Dante Alighieri’s muse, believed to be Beatrice Portinari. Dante met Beatrice when he was nine years old and Beatrice was eight or nine. I have seen no evidence to confirm this guess. Another possibility is that Beatrice may be the name of the model who posed for the statue. Perhaps the sources I have read neglect to specify who Beatrice is because it does not matter. The statue is beautiful in its own right, regardless of whom it represents.

When an image search for Beatrice is done, another version of the statue can be found. This version has the same body, but a different hair style and face. I have not found any more information about this alternate version of Beatrice.

Francesco Messina – Alternate Version of Beatrice (1959)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh

(Last Updated On July 23, 2021)

Bessie Onahotema Potter was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1872. Onahotema is a Choctaw name that means “she gives with an open hand.” It’s quite appropriate considering the contributions she has given to the world of art.  At age 14 she began working part-time for a sculptor, and taking classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. The purpose of her art, she told an interviewer, was to “look for beauty in the every-day world…”

Anonymous – Bessie Potter Modeling The Spirit of the Water (1896)

In 1893, Potter was one of the women artists called the “White Rabbits” who assisted Lorado Taft with sculpture for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Janet Scudder, who will be the subject of a future post, was another of the White Rabbits. By 1895, when Bessie Potter visited Europe and met Auguste Rodin, she was an established sculptor. In 1899 she married the impressionist painter Robert Vonnoh, and became Bessie Potter Vonnoh. They soon were among the best known artists in New York, where they lived.

Anonymous – Bessie Potter Vonnoh working on Water Lily  (1913)

Bessie Vonnoh specialized in small sculptures that could be displayed in a home. The statuette Water Lillies is a portrait of a young girl who was the daughter of Helen and Frank DuMond, both of whom were artists and friends of the Vonnohs. Vonnoh said that her goal was to make the statuette as lifelike as possible given the size.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Water Lily  (c1913)

Nude young girls were a favorite subject for Bessie Vonnoh. Dancing Girl is one of her well known works.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Dancing Girl (1910)

Reclining Girl With Butterfly is the next figurine. Note that there are slightly different versions of the work.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Reclining Girl With Butterfly (c1920) (1)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Reclining Girl With Butterfly (c1920) (2)

The next two sculptures are Sunbeam and Springtime of Life. Sunbeam is one of Vonnoh’s clothed figures. She did both clothed and nude statues, but most of her young girl works I have found are nude.

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Sunbeam (c1924)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Springtime of Life (c1925) (1)

 

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Springtime of Life (c1925) (2)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Springtime of Life (c1925) (3)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Springtime of Life a Fountain (c1925)

Sea Sprite and Water Nymph are different versions of the same statue. Beverly Maynard modeled for this statue, which served as a centerpiece for a fountain in the Sea Sprite version. Beverly’s father, Richard Field Maynard was a painter and sculptor. Did Vonnoh use her friend’s daughters as models as a favor to her friends, or was it because her friends were artists who did not object to their daughters posing nude?

Richard Maynard – Bessie Potter Vonnoh Making a Sculpture from Beverly Maynard (1928)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Sea Sprite a Fountain (c1928)

Bessie Potter Vonnoh – Water Nymph (c1928)

Robert Vonnoh died in 1933, and Bessie produced very little art after that. Bessie died in 1955.