Random Images: Gerald Moonen

New Zealand artist Gerald Moonen appears on our radar because of his fight with New Zealand authorities regarding civil rights and standards of decency. I think all readers will agree that censors went way too far in this case. A critic wrote that the image below would have been acceptable if the subjects were boys! Besides being understandably insulted by this notion (the image is of his own daughters), it happens to be the girls’ own grandmother’s favorite picture of them. It supposedly appeared in a book called Image Dei but I cannot confirm this with internet sources.

Gerald Moonen – From the book Image Dei (c2000)

Moonen wrote a wonderful credo to the Government Administration Committee regarding the interpretation of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act of 1993. It strikes me that this case has the same flavor as that of Graham Ovenden’s.

Random Images: Sashko Milkovich

Being a repository of images of a particular genre, I frankly don’t know where half these things come from. This could be an image that Pip collected or a lead from a reader and I neglected to note the details. Sashko Milkovich is a Ukrainian wedding photographer. Examining his portfolio, one can see the kinds of images one would expect but it also includes this perplexing image. It is a lovely image of domesticity but not really fitting in the wedding genre. Perhaps Milkovich is trying to exert his artist impulses and the photo does also say something about cultural attitudes in The Ukraine.

Sashko Milkovich – (Untitled) (Date Unknown)

I was curious about the blankets with writing on them. I would be interested to know what they say. Are they just mundane platitudes or some kind of political statement by the artist?

Lorne McKean

Lorne McKean was born in 1939 and began working in art at age 10 as a model and student of Prince Serge Yourievitch. At age 20 she had two of her sculptures accepted by the Royal Academy. She became Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1972. She has had five Royal commissions, and has sculpted portraits of both Her Majesty and Prince Philip. In 2012 she was chosen as one of ten outstanding UK artists to commemorate the 2012 London Olympic Games by the BT Art of Sport initiative. McKean is very popular with the lay public as well as the art world; many of her works appear in public places. She is married to sculptor Edwin Russell and has two daughters.

Anonymous – Lorne McKean Working on The Girl and the Swan (c1984)

McKean has created many sculptures of people and animals, especially horses. Three of her statues that feature young girls are included in this article. These statues speak for themselves; their artistic merit would be apparent even if the reader did not know of McKean’s many honors. Although the articles in Pigtails are generally very brief and focus on young girls to the exclusion of other things, I thought it would be good for the reader to know a few things about Lorne McKean both for general background and for what it says about young girls in art.

Lorne McKean was a young girl herself, and a child model. She is the mother of girls. She is highly respected by the art community and the public, and has been commissioned multiple times by the Queen, who was also once a young girl, and is the mother of a girl. Since McKean is highly respectable, and has sculpted nude girls, it would seem that there is nothing inherently unrespectable about an artist who creates work involving nude girls. Of course some artists may be involved in reprehensible conduct, but we shouldn’t assume it is typical of all artists. If the Queen approves commissions for an artist whose work includes nude girls, why should lesser ranking individuals in Her Majesty’s government object to Pigtails in Paint, Agapeta, or Graham Ovenden?

The first McKean sculpture in this article is Girl and Swan, on public display on the side of a building on King’s Road, Reading, UK. A girl tries to touch a swan flying overhead.

Lorne McKean – The Girl and the Swan (1984)

Lorne McKean – The Girl and the Swan (1984)

Seated Child, the Artist’s Daughter is a bronze of one of McKean’s two daughters. I could not find out which one. At least one daughter was following in her mother’s footsteps as a child model.

Lorne McKean – Seated Child, the Artist’s Daughter (no date)

Girl With Shell is a fountain at the Willoughby House, Richmond, UK.

Lorne McKean – Girl With Shell (no date)

Random Images: Francis Gruber

During the period when this site was offline I received this interesting lead. The reader said he discovered this work by Francis Gruber (1912–1948) while browsing a second-hand bookstore. I delight in such serendipitous finds like this.

Francis Gruber – Jeune Fille Assise dans Latelier (1938)

You can see more of this artist’s work here. Interestingly, this painting recently fetched just under 20,500€ in auction.

 

Random Images: Adam Fuss

I had intended to do a proper post on Adam Fuss (b1961) a while ago. I was intrigued by a composition of his using a silhouette of his own daughter (not shown here). My friend Poli knew him and I thought I might have more luck interviewing the artist if I had an introduction but her health was deteriorating and she never saw him again in her few remaining travels. While searching for that silhouette, I ran into this perplexing piece so I present it here.

Adam Fuss – The Space Between Garden And Eve (2011)

This installation piece naturally evokes a lot of questions, perhaps something one of our readers can find out more about. Is there a backstory out there? In my earlier research on this artist, I did come across an amusing comment he made. Apparently, viewers of his work often want to know how he accomplished his various effects. His attitude during his reply was usually something like, “Why? Do you want to try this at home?”. I felt it completely understandable than an artist might want to keep his techniques close to his chest (and that the lay public wouldn’t understand anyway). But one commenter, not familiar with the artistic temperament, was critical of Fuss complaining that his manner of brusque and off-putting. I just had to roll my eyes when I read that.

Random Images: Ernst Haas

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.

Ernst Haas – Sunbathers, Vienna (1946–1948) (1)

Ernst Haas – Sunbathers, Vienna (1946–1948) (2)

More Medical Contrivances

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).

E. A. Cockayne – Pearl D with Girl of Same Age (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).

Neill and Dingwall – AP and JP Compared with Their Normal Sister (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).

Refetoff et al – VG (1966)

Refetoff et al – EG (1966)

Refetoff et al – MG (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.

R. H. Franklin – Identical Twins Treated for Repair of Hernia (1971)

John Thomson – Juvenile Myxoedema, Before and After Thyroid Treatment, Girl of 12 Years (1921)

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.

  1. Perhaps the doctor told the woman to undress completely, and told the man to leave on his underwear.
  2. 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.

Zuege et al – RE Age Eight Years Five Months (1979)

Zuege et al – RE Three Months After Staples Were Removed (1979)

Zuege et al – RE Age Twenty and Male Patient (1979)

Satyr’s Daughters by Judy Fox

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.

Judy Fox – Satyr’s Daughters (1999)

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.

Judy Fox – Lakshmi (1999)

Ravi Varma -Goddess Lakshmi (1848 – 1906)

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.

Judy Fox – Onile (1999)

Judy Fox – Onile (1999)

Unknown Nigerian Artist – Onile Yoruba Figurine (20th century)

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.

Judy Fox – Court Lady (1999)

Judy Fox – Court Lady (1999)

Anonymous – Tang Dynasty Figurine (618 – 906)

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.

Judy Fox – Rapunzel (1999)

Judy Fox – Rapunzel (1999)

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.

Random Images: Alkemanubis

Christian recently found this image requesting that it be identified. He suggested that it may have come from DeviantArt but Pip doesn’t think so because it violates their TOS. He believes it is associated with Manga. If it originally appeared there, that may be why it cannot be found there any longer. Any assistance would be much appreciated. It appears to be a kind of bacchanalia comprised of little girls. [see additional  comments below]

Alke / Alkemanubis - Ritual

Alkemanubis – Ritual (variant) (2018)

[20210505] Once again, our readers come to the rescue. As can be seen below, a few out there knew the source of this image. Many thanks to all of you. One contributor even told me he knew the artist personally, so it is possible that we may be expanding this post at some point.

It turns out that Pip and Christian were both right. Alke/Alkemanubis has a DeviantArt account and a Pixiv account (the latter from which this image was removed). There are apparently four versions of this image.

Girls of Oceania Part 2: Melanesia and Micronesia

Melanesia is by far the part of Oceania with the most land area. The island of New Guinea has more than twice as much land as Polynesia and Micronesia combined. It is also the earliest inhabited part of Oceania. If you look at a map, it will not be obvious why Melanesia is considered to be part of Oceania. On the map, a swarm of large islands, close together, extends from the Malay Peninsula to the Fiji Islands.

The islands from New Guinea to Fiji are considered to be Melanesia, and the islands west of New Guinea are said to be part of Asia. The reason for dividing Melanesia from Asia at New Guinea is that the people who inhabit the islands west of New Guinea are of the same race as the Malay people on the Asian mainland. From New Guinea east to Fiji the people are of a Black race with an appearance similar to the people of Africa. Melanesia is big enough and old enough to have a rich diversity of cultures, and most of the images of Melanesia in this post are from ethnographic works.

An ethnographic contrivance by Francis Barton, along with some information about the photographer, was posted in Pigtails in Paint here.  Another of Captain Barton’s photographs is shown below. It was published in the book Melanesians of British New Guinea by Charles Seligman. The purpose of the photograph is to show the tattoo patterns of the girl’s tribe.

Francis Rickman Barton – Tattooed Girl (1904-1910)

J. G. Pasteur was another photographer who documented the life on New Guinea in about the time of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pasteur sent the negatives of his work to Europe, and his friend C. H. Stratz published the photos in his books after Pasteur’s death. The Stratz books are not art books, but the photos definitely have an artistic composition. Stratz wrote in Naturgeschichte des Menschen that J. G. Pasteur created the most beautiful and artistically perfect Papua pictures (Papua is another name for New Guinea). Although Naturgeschichte des Menschen is a scientific book, Stratz was clearly interested in the artistic value of the photographs.

J.G. Pasteur – Papuamädchen von Acht bis Zehn Jahren (circa 1900)

J.G. Pasteur – Papuamädchen von Etwa Zehn Jahren (circa1900)

J.G. Pasteur – Mädchen von Vierzehn Jahren aus Taubadji (circa1900)

The next two Melanesian photos are anonymous images from the Solomon Islands and New Britain Island. The picture of the Solomon Islands girl with the wide smile and flowers in her hair is particularly evocative of a happy childhood. The New Britain girl appears more somber. She was probably posed that way by an ethnologist to demonstrate the musical instrument of her tribe.

Anonymous – Solomon Island Girl (circa1920)

Museum für Völkerkunde, Dresden – A Girl from Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain, Playing on Pongolo (before 1930)

The next photograph is from the collection of the American physician Sylvester M. Lambert. Lambert spent twenty years in the Pacific islands as a doctor for the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board. During that time he took many photographs that document the life of the island people. His photos have the appearance of an amateur snapshot. This is a photo of Melanesian women and girls. One source says the photo was taken on Santa Ana Island, while another says that it is from Santa Catalina Island. Santa Ana (Owaraha) and Santa Catalina (Owariki) are both in the Solomon Islands, and are separated by less than two miles of water.

S. M. Lambert – Women and Girls on Santa Ana (1919–1939)

Note that all of the Melanesian photos shown so far were taken before 1940, and that the girls in the photos have no clothing. The idea that nudity is obscene, although common in Western culture, is not universally held. There are two interesting maps in Die Frauenkleidung und ihre natürliche Entwicklung by C. H. Stratz that show where women routinely went nude in the years 1500 and 1900. This area seems to be most of the tropics in 1500, and a much smaller but still significant area, including part of Melanesia, in 1900. (I think he underestimated the area in South America in 1900.) There is still at least one area in Melanesia where nudity is common today. On the Melanesian island of Malaita, it is customary in some communities for only men, boys, and married women to wear clothes, while girls and young unmarried women go naked. Most of Melanesia has adopted western or at least semi-western modes of dress today. This is shown on the last two images from Melanesia. Both are from the Melanesian Women Today web page.

Melanesian Women Today – Solomon Scholarships (circa2020)

Melanesian Women Today – Takuu (circa2020)

In Micronesia, many people wore clothing, even if only grass skirts, before they adopted western style dress. The next two photographs are of girls on the Micronesian island of Nauru. Nauru is now an independent state, and with a land area of about eight square miles is one of the smallest sovereign states.

Anonymous – Nauru Girls (circa 1920)

Australian War Memorial – Private Corfield with a Young Nauruan Girl (1945)

Micronesian people are related to Polynesians. They are descended from the same group of migrants that left Taiwan in ancient times and went to Indonesia. Some of those people went north to Micronesia while the rest went east to Polynesia. The Micronesian population was later augmented with more migrants from Polynesia and from The Philippines.

Yap is a very traditional Micronesian island, where the old-fashioned grass skirts are still worn for special occasions. The next image is a vintage postcard from Yap showing a girl, a man, and one of the stone wheels that are highly valued by the people on Yap. Following that is a photo taken by an Australian woman and posted on her Lozinyap blog. The two girls were celebrating Yap Day in 2015.

Anonymous – Girl and Man on Yap (circa1940)

Lozinyap – Yapday Girls (2015)

Guam is the biggest and most cosmopolitan island in Micronesia. Gerard Aflague is a Chamorro, an indigenous person of Guam, and an illustrator of children’s books. He has illustrated, and written several books with Christian religious, educational, and Pacific Island themes. His wife is also a writer. He seems to be very proud of his Chamorro heritage, and the first image is the cover of a book written in both Chamorro and English. He has also written and illustrated bilingual books in English and other Pacific island languages.

Gerard Aflague – Cover of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (2017)

Gerard Aflague – Cover of Little Chamorrita Did I Tell You (2014)

Robert Hunter is a painter living in the Northern Mariana Islands. He has a great deal of experience as a commercial and fine artist, having worked as an artist for the United States Postal Service, the Red Cross and others. Much of his art revolves around Micronesian life and legends. The first painting by Robert Hunter, Things Lost, Things Found , depicts a young girl and a nautilus shell on the beach. The second painting, Piggyback, shows a girl carrying another child.

Robert Hunter – Things Lost, Things Found (2010)

Robert Hunter – Piggyback (2011)

Most of Micronesia consists of U.S. territories or independent states in free association with the United States. The free association status, among other things, makes it easy for the Micronesians to enter the United States. Many people from Chuuk (formerly Truk) have settled in Milan, Minnesota. The mural of a young Chuukese girl shown below is on the wall of Bergen’s Prairie Market in Milan.

Anonymous – Mural of a Micronesian Girl on Bergen’s Prairie Market (circa2020)

The last example of a young island girl in this post is one that people in the USA, and in associated states that use US money, have probably already seen. This is the Northern Marianas Islands quarter dollar for the “America the Beautiful” quarter series. The design depicts a girl at the memorial commemorating the 1944 Battle of Saipan. Donna Weaver designed the quarter, and Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. Phebe Hemphill said on a Youtube video that the person on the quarter is a “young girl”. On the US Mint website, however, the person on the quarter is described as a “young woman”. I agree with the sculptor that she is a girl, and therefore have included the quarter in this post.

Weaver and Hemphill – America the Beautiful Quarter for Northern Mariana Islands (2019)