This is one of many images that Pip collected and wanted identified. A few readers came forward and did exactly that. Takero Kawabata is a Japanese photographer covering special public events. You can be forgiven for thinking this is a shot from Carnival in Brazil, but in fact—like the Mardi Gras in the US—it is an imported event. Every year (circumstances permitting) in late August, Japan hosts the Asakusa Samba. This girl is one of many contestants who participated in the samba parade contest. Many dancers do come from Brazil to complete and it goes without saying that the best dancers get their start very young.
Genja Jonas (1895–1938) was a German photographer. Although she did not focus by any means on children, I did come across this interesting artifact.
Ernst Haas (1921–1986) is one of the most important photographers of the 20th Century and was one of the pioneers of color photography. Born in Austria, he later established himself in the US. As a photojournalist, one can come across some of the most unusual scenes. Christian found this image but didn’t know which one had the correct contrast so I offer both.
Emily Garthwaite is an active photojournalist currently specializing in the Middle East. The image below is an interesting effect. It seems that the photographer liked it so much that she did something similar with her infant nephew. This is merely speculation, but it is possible the artist composed the shot this way to accommodate the requirements of her subjects, many of whom are Shiite.
Al Hillah was one of the areas hit hard by the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Garthwaite is, in part, documenting life in the aftermath.
A few years ago, an artist friend of mine acquired this piece and showed it to me. Geoffrey Sneyd Garnier (1889–1970) was not only an artist but a printmaker as well. This particular etching and drypoint is of the man’s own daughter (either dressing or undressing, it’s hard to say).
Ron wrote a medical contrivances post that was published here. In it, he said “A contrivance is an excuse, a way of justifying something that would not normally be acceptable. Pigtails has endeavored to break through this façade and acknowledge that we find images of healthy naked girls (and women) appealing.” Milja Laurila, a Finnish art photographer, has used medical photography as the inspiration for her artistic nude photographs. Laurila wrote, “I look for image material for my works in old books and
archives. During the years, I have seen hundreds and hundreds of medical pictures, mainly from the 1900s. Why do most of them portray young, naked women?” I have not looked at hundreds of books and papers like Laurila has, but I have seen a few dozen. I agree that of those medical photos I have seen, a significant majority are of females. This is especially true of photographs that show the patient with a healthy control subject. An example of such a photo is the following from Dwarfism with Retinal Atrophy and Deafness by E. A. Cockayne, D.M., F.R.C.P. (1935).
Was it really necessary to have a normal control posing with the dwarf? We know Pearl’s height because a scale of feet is shown to her right. Shouldn’t a physician know the normal range of height for a girl her age? Is the normal girl on the short end of the normal height distribution, or the tall end? Perhaps she is somewhere in between; either the mean height, or the median, or the mode. Then again, she may have been chosen not for her height, but simply because she was an attractive girl who volunteered to be photographed. Previously, I had thought that the medical contrivances were contrived by the doctor alone. Now that I have l have seen more of these photos, I believe that both the doctor and the patient or control are responsible for contrivances. Consider the next picture from A Syndrome Resembling Progeria: A Review of Two Cases by Catherine A. Neill, M.D. and Mary M. Dingwall (1949).
There were four children in the family at the time the photo was taken; the two brothers with a syndrome resembling progeria were age 15 and 10. They had two siblings who were not afflicted with the syndrome; a brother age 13 and a sister whose age was not given. Although I am not a physician, it seems to me that the most appropriate control for the photo would be the brother of intermediate age. There is a table in the report that compares the measurements of the two afflicted boys with their normal brother, but not with their sister. Why then did the two female authors (I assume that Catherine and Mary are women) use the sister for the control model in the photo?
My theory is that the authors actually wanted to use the brother as the control model, but he refused to be photographed nude. The sister then volunteered to take his place. This would be consistent with what I remember from my childhood. When I was a child, nudity was one of the strongest taboos. Both boys and girls avoided appearing naked, but I think we did so for different reasons. We boys were taught that our bodies were obscene. We were told we should be ashamed to be naked, and so we were. Girls were taught that they were pretty. They were told if they flaunt their beauty around the wrong kind of boys, they would be in danger. If the wrong kind of boys were not present, they must still avoid being nude because good boys would think the girls were promiscuous, and lose respect for them.
In a situation that is both safe and respectable, such as posing for a medical photo, I believe that boys would still be embarrassed. Girls, on the other hand, may have less qualms about agreeing to pose nude. Could that be the reason that a girl is photographed as the control with the two boys in the photo above, and why females seem to outnumber males in medical photos in general? If this is true, it could explain a strange thing about the following photos from Familial Syndrome Combining Deaf-Mutism, Stippled Epiphyses, Goiter and Abnormally High PBI: Possible Target Organ Refractoriness to Thyroid Hormone by Samuel Refetoff, Loren T. Dewind and Leslie J. Degroot (1966).
In this set of photographs, an 8-year old girl and a 12-year old boy have the syndrome. Their 10-year old sister is the control. Note that the photos of the two girls are clear, but the photos of the boy seem to have the contrast and resolution adjusted to in effect censor his photo. Why did the authors do this?
It may have been because the boy refused to be photographed unless the doctors promised to censor the photos, but the two girls did not request that the photos were censored. Another possibility is that the doctors may have thought that twelve was too old for an uncensored nude, but it was OK for the girls age eight and ten. This seems less likely because 12-year-olds are not too old for nude photos in other medical works, as shown by the following photos.
The first photograph is of twin 12-year old girls from Grey Turner and the Evolution of Oesophageal Surgery by R. H. Franklin F.R.C.S. (1971). The photo shows the twins cured with only a surgery scar remaining. Did they need to be completely naked to show the scars? The article does not have any photo of the twins before their surgery. The next photo is from The Clinical Study and Treatment of Sick Children by John Thomson (1921). The 12-year old patient is shown before and after treatment. Why is she dressed in the before picture and nude in the after? I can think of no reason why the doctor would want her dressed for the photo taken before treatment. Perhaps the doctor wanted a nude photo, but the girl refused because she was not happy with her appearance. After treatment she lost some weight, became proud of her looks, and volunteered to be nude for the after treatment photo.
Epiphyseal Stapling for Angular Deformity at the Knee by Robert C. Zuege, Thomas G. Kempen, and Walter P. Blount (1979) will be the last paper referenced in this post. Fifty-six patients are covered in this report, of whom 31 are boys and 25 are girls. Only one patient, a girl, was photographed before, during, and after treatment as a child. Another photograph was taken of her at age 20 to show that she was no longer knock-kneed. No photographs of any male patient as a child were included in the report, but one photo of an adult man was included. It is peculiar that the woman was photographed from the waist down and was nude, but the man was photographed only below the hips and wore briefs. There are two possible explanations for this.
- Perhaps the doctor told the woman to undress completely, and told the man to leave on his underwear.
- Perhaps he just told both to undress so he could photograph their legs. The woman chose to undress completely and the man did not.
I don’t know which is true, but I have the feeling the latter is very likely.
Satyr’s Daughters is a group of five painted ceramic sculptures by Judy Fox. The artist was born in New Jersey in 1957, and currently lives in New York. She is most famous for her life-size realistic terra-cotta nudes of women and children. Satyr’s Daughters was created in 1999 and originally displayed in the PPOW Gallery in New York City. The display included four statues of girls, each about seven years old (the daughters), and one adult man (the satyr). The four girls were displayed on high pedestals on one side of the room; they were meant to be viewed from below. The Satyr was on the other side of the room on a low platform, and was looking at the daughters. Although they were displayed in one group, each of the five statues was sold individually. Since Pigtails is about girls, this post will concentrate on the daughters.
The four daughters represent four different geographical areas: India, Africa, China, and Europe. Fox said that she chose models at an age when they were becoming conscious of their beauty, but were still innocent of its sexual implications. Fox considers herself to be a feminist, and strives for her art to reflect that.
Lakshmi represents India. Lakshmi is the name of a Hindu goddess, but the Lakshmi of Satyr’s Daughters has an appearance different from traditional portrayals of the divinity. Hindus worship Lakshmi as the goddess of wealth, love, beauty, joy and prosperity. Lakshmi is conventionally depicted as an adult woman with four arms, as in the painting by Raja Ravi Varma. However, Lakshmi was incarnate on Earth as Sita and as Rukmini, so it may not be entirely contrary to Hindu doctrine to portray her as a young girl. At least, I have not read of any Hindus objecting to the Lakshmi statue in Satyr’s Daughters.
Africa is represented by Onile. Onile is the Earth and metalworking goddess of the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin. She is often portrayed in abstract bronze statuettes in a pose similar to the Onile of Judy Fox. Although Onile is divine, I have not read of any Yoruba complaining of the Onile in Satyr’s Daughters as sacrilege.
Court Lady is the daughter for China. This statue is reminiscent of Tang Dynasty figurines of Chinese ladies. Court Lady replicates the posture and hair of the figurines, but with a nude child instead of a clothed adult. Photographs of live models were used to make the Satyr’s Daughters statues. Judy Fox lives and works in New York City, and it seems likely that her models were all from that area. Fox included details in the hair, posture, and titles of the sculptures to indicate that the girls represent different parts of the world and different cultures; not merely New York girls who happen to be of different ethnic backgrounds.
Rapunzel is Europe’s daughter. It is a good choice, I think, to use a fairy tale character from Grimm to represent Europe. The Grimm brothers collected their folk tales in 19th century Germany, but the tales are common in all European countries and are centuries old. Rapunzel is probably the best of Grimm’s Tales for the Satyr’s Daughters series because of her long hair. Since the figures are nude, the hair is one of the details necessary to give each daughter her individuality.
Controversy could potentially arise from the fact that real girls modeled for Satyr’s Daughters, and realistic nude statues of the girls were put on public display. If anything was done to make the models unrecognizable from the statues, it was not mentioned in any review that I read. Yet despite the fact that the girls were originally displayed with a satyr, and satyrs are by definition lascivious, I have not read of any objections in this regard to Satyr’s Daughters.
Given all that has been going on, I feel like this is a great time to publish a ‘State of the Blog’. As can be seen from the last post, our host was ordered by UK police to shut down this site, Agapeta and Graham Ovenden’s two sites. As has happened a number of times in the past, we have guardian angels who appreciate our mission and assist when they can to keep us afloat. Thank you all so much for your support.
Status of Allied Sites: Because Pigtails and Agapeta use the WordPress template, they were the easiest to reinstate. What I understand is that Agapeta is publicly visible right now under the same domain name but with an incomplete database. It is expected to be completely restored during the coming weekend. Graham’s sites (The Graham Ovenden personal site and Garage Press) will take longer. Our former host did not like the unwieldy structure of WordPress and so used something he was more comfortable with. Our new host needs to familiarize himself with that protocol before they can be restored. All domain names have been successfully transferred and there are no changes to any of the web addresses.
Our New Host: There is something of an interesting story about our new host. As readers are probably aware, there is a lot of controversy with a site such as ours which focuses on the “Cult of the Girl Child”. Another sensitive topic these days is the way young girls are sometimes portrayed in fantasy situations in manga and anime including sexually suggestive or even explicit content. There are many who want to make the important distinction between fantasy and the advocacy of physical abuse. In order to protect this material (some with artistic or political merit, Debbie Dreschler for instance) from undue censorship, a team was put together to figure out a “bulletproof” way to have this material be available online despite heated objection by the lay public. The problem with corporate management of domain names and websites is that with their bottom line of profits, they are simply too susceptible to public opinion and anything that is not worth the trouble gets shut down. This has happened many times with Pigtails as many of you know. The idea is that our host will boldly deal with the ridicule, complaints and cyber attacks on the sites to keep them up and running. In addition, the sites will be run in jurisdictions that are are more understanding of the real challenges of freedom of speech (definitely not the UK or the US). I don’t want to give you the impression that this is some kind of obstinate rogue operation; when there are legitimate legal issues, such complaints can go through proper legal channels (namely, the courts) and will be dealt with according to the rule of law. This program is in its early stages so I imagine hosting Pigtails is an important test case, especially because of our size and the fact that we don’t really push the limits that much except in the service of academic pursuits.
Our Priorities Going Forward: I have not had much time for this site recently, but it is important that it remain active as a resource. I will continue to make occasional posts, but my focus will be on completing the databases: first, completing the ‘Artists by Name’ page and then putting together a bibliography of the PIgtails Library.
Contributors Pulling Their Weight: Since I am less active, I do urge readers to make contributions by writing short pieces. I understand that many of you are not confident in your use of English but as Editor-in-Chief, it will be my responsibility to edit your work to make sure it is presentable and meets our standards of content. Moko, for instance, is planning on making monthly contributions. A few others have promised to do works and I think I will make the rounds and ask them to get on with it.
The Charming Thing about Conspiracies: The word “conspiracy” has a pretty straightforward definition but in modern society, it is regarded with ridicule even when there are real machination at play. One of the key reasons Pigtails was brought down the way it was is due to flagrant (UK) police corruption. Let me be clear that a great many policemen and detectives are honorable and do their work with an eye for real service to the public. And every organization of course has it’s bad seeds as well. It is mostly because of this site’s support of Graham Ovenden and my personal role in helping get his first websites established that has made us such a target. Certain individuals in the UK police force have real reasons to be concerned about their misbehavior being exposed and the public demanding action. They cannot afford these claims to get any traction in the media. Why am I so confident? As part of the conditions in the conclusion of the Ovenden court case, the judge ordered that copies of police records used in the prosecution be given to the defendant. In one of my recent visits to Graham, I got to see one of those documents and my jaw dropped! Right there in the police’s own written records (which I’m sure they never expected would see the light of day) their strategy and overt manipulation of the evidence and witnesses is actually spelled out. Graham assures me that these papers are now in a secure place but it is uncertain if political circumstances will ever permit an airing (the CCTC declined an appeal despite overwhelming evidence) of this particular misconduct and the escalating and vindictive efforts to cover it up. That is all I wish to say about it for now since I have only seen a few of these items personally. I only want to impress upon readers that attacks on us are not only a matter vocal self-righteous complaints of perversion but a real threat to the careers of certain members in the UK police hierarchy (and possibly officers of Her Majesty’s courts). I wish I could somehow disentangle this issue from our usual work, but I would consider this an act of cowardice. I understand that Graham has shared a few of these details on his website which you can read when it goes back online.
My First Act: The thin end of the wedge in bringing down Pigtails was the request that images from the Debbie Dreschler post be removed because they portray child abuse. Ironic, since the comic book artist’s point was to bring attention to that exact issue. My first act this weekend will be to replace those.
It is a delight to once again welcome readers back to PIgtails in Paint. We look forward to your continued support. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief
I have been informed by our host that in order to continue conducting business, they must remove Pigtails in Paint for their client list. The same goes for Agapeta. We will be removed in the next few days. We apologize but running such a challenging site has its pitfalls. Please note that you can continue to reach me at [email protected]
As before, we will probably reestablish a Pigtails Facebook page with any news and updates. We will naturally be needing a new host and I am told that we will have full backup information so we can relocate the site. We will most likely have to give up the site address pigtailsinpaint.org as well since it is unknown how and when we can get the site up and running again and, to be honest, it is not a priority for me at this time.
My apologies but we did have a good run and have already made a major contribution on the subject of the Cult of the Girl Child. -Ron, Editor-in-Chief
PS – Rest assured that since we have not done anything illegal, no legal actions are being taken against any Pigtails staff members.
Norman Rockwell was one of 20th century America’s most popular painters. He is famous for his paintings of contemporary everyday life that some critics dismiss as overly sentimental. Rockwell is best known for his cover illustrations for Boy’s Life and The Saturday Evening Post magazines, and for the Boy Scout calendars. He was a perfectionist who tried to get the details right. One his paintings was posted on Pigtails here. Another illustration based on a Rockwell painting, but with a new background, was posted here.
Rockwell created many paintings of children. Although his paintings of boys are better known, there are paintings of girls too. The Young Lady with the Shiner is the first of Rockwell’s paintings that will be included in this post. A young girl has been called to the principal’s office for fighting in school. There are three things about this picture that are typical of Rockwell’s art. First is that the girl appears strangely happy even though she has a bruised eye and is about to be punished by the principal. Finding humor and optimism in unlikely situations is a rockwellesque trait. This can be taken as belittling children’s legitimate problems, and therefore has often been criticized. Pip Starr in an earlier post here wrote “Rockwell’s work tends to sacrifice children’s dignity on the altar of humor…” The second thing is that this painting shows the aftermath of the fight instead of the fight itself. Rockwell often chose to paint the prelude or the consequence of an event rather than the main event. Realistic detail is another characteristic of Rockwell. He did not want to give the model a real black eye, and makeup was not, in his judgement, realistic enough. Therefore Rockwell advertised for a model with a black eye, who would model only for the eye. Mary Whalen posed for everything except the black eye of the girl in the painting.
When Mary was called from class to go to the principal’s office, she thought that she was actually in trouble. She started to cry, and the teacher let her twin brother go with her for moral support. When she saw that she was only there to be a model, she was relieved. She had posed for Rockwell before. The artist asked her to smile as if she had just won a fight with her brother. Below are the painting and the photograph of Mary from which Rockwell made the painting.
Mary Whalen also modeled for A Day in the Life of a Girl. This painting was done when Mary was 9 years old, the year before The Young Lady with the Shiner. A Day in the Life of a Girl is actually a series of twenty-two pictures illustrating a typical day in the life of an American girl in 1952. The boy in these pictures was modeled by ten year old Chuck Marsh. The painting and the photographs for the painting are shown below. Note the difference between the painting and the fourth from the last photo. Chuck said later that Mr. Rockwell tried very hard to get him to kiss Mary, but even though he liked Mary a lot, Chuck was too shy. Finally Rockwell gave up and let Chuck pretend to kiss a bronze bust instead of Mary.
I don’t think it would be that hard today to get a ten-year-old boy who is a paid model to kiss a girl. Especially since it’s only an attempted kiss on the forehead. The 1950s were a different time. Rockwell painted cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post from 1916 through 1963. People who never lived in rural America at that time may find it hard to believe, but Rockwell’s depictions of rural and small town life in that era are quite realistic. At least they appear realistic to me, and I lived in rural America during the latter part of that period.
Even though children were more shy then, there was young romance. It was just more subdued. The next two paintings are from Rockwell’s Four Seasons Portfolio. They illustrate young love in the summer and fall.
The next paintings illustrate typical feminine characteristics. The girl is happy to dress up in new school clothes, but the boy is not. Girls also like dolls. In the painting Girl With Christmas Doll, two dolls seem to be vying for the girl’s attention. Apparently the girl is holding her old doll, and the Christmas doll is on the floor. The girl has a problem because she loves her old doll and may feel that it would be unfaithful to give her affection to a new doll.
A doll is also featured in The Doctor and the Doll. Rockwell tends to portray people as good and understanding. The girl is intimidated because the doctor will examine her. The kind-hearted physician tries to put the girl at ease by examining her doll first.
The American Way was painted in 1944, during World War II. The title refers to the fact that Americans boasted that it was “the American way” to help people in need, just as the American GI is helping the little girl. Today it is fashionable to emphasize the negative, but Rockwell wanted to inspire people to try to emulate the positive virtues of characters in his paintings. Today many would observe that the little girl may not have been in need of help if the Americans had not made war in her country, but people did not think that way in 1944. Rockwell did not completely ignore the bad parts of American life (See his painting Murder in Mississippi.), but usually he tried to highlight the good. Although Rockwell always tried to get the details right, he made a mistake in The American Way. The soldier wears an ammunition belt for the M1 Garand rifle, but the weapon shown with him is a Thompson submachine gun.
Girl Returning From Camp was the illustration for the August 24th, 1940 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Magazines were very popular at that time before the internet, and The Saturday Evening Post was one of the most popular magazines in America. Rockwell, and other popular artists created covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Girl Returning From Camp inspired more people to write letters to the magazine than any other cover illustration. It surprises me that it was so controversial. A lot of readers were not sure if the child on the cover was a boy or a girl.
It is obvious to me, from her hairstyle and her skirt, that she is a girl. Boys did not wear long hair in 1940. Why would people think she was a boy? Maybe it is because she seems unhappy to return from camp where she enjoyed the rough adventure even though she had minor injuries on her finger and knee. I grew up on a farm, and my girl cousins and classmates were not afraid of snakes or of getting dirty in the woods. Perhaps residents of more urban areas had a different idea of what little girls should be like. The public reaction to the painting may tell us something about the city dweller’s perception of young girls. You can read about the controversy in an essay here.
A few details are worth noting in Girl Returning From Camp. Rockwell painted the snake and turtle so realistically that I could look up the species of each. I believe the snake is Opheodrys vernalis and the turtle is Chrysemys picta. Both species are indigenous to the eastern United States where the girl presumably went to camp. Note the chips in the blade of the girl’s hatchet. Rockwell undoubtedly knew, from his close association with the Boy Scouts, that a properly used hatchet should not have a chipped blade. The insinuation is that this girl may have been a little wild and reckless at camp.
April Fool 1948 will be the last painting in this post. April Fools covers for The Saturday Evening Post were painted in 1943, 1945 and 1948. Only the 1948 cover features a girl. These covers were intended to be games for the readers of the magazine, who would try to find all of the errors in the picture. I get the feeling that there is more to it than just an April Fools game, but I don’t know how to interpret it. I will point out only one of the many strange things that make this painting so surreal. The girl holding the ugly doll with cloven hooves appears in the painting two more times: in the lower right holding a skunk and in the upper left as a marble bust. You can see a list of fifty-six errors in April Fool 1948 here. If anybody has insight into this painting, please leave a comment.