Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Tragic Beauties," Barbara Abel






I just stumbled upon these lovely and uncanny photographs of early 20th century shop-window mannequins by Barbara Abel. Part of a series she calls "Tragic Beauties," the photos were taken in a a "dimly lit mannequin warehouse in downtown Detroit, [where] they sat, covered in plastic for decades, until a few years ago when they were sold to collectors."

Lovely, wonderful things; can't help but wonder--and not without envy--who are the lucky collectors who ended up with them?

More on the "Tragic Beauties" here. Via, again, the fantastic Wurzeltod, who seemed to have found them on the Marieaunet Blog, from which I sourced the above images. Please click in images to see larger, more-detailed versions.

6 comments:

enefecto said...

Very interesting, as usual ...

Castle in the Air said...

I grew up in my mother's shop where she had a few of these amazing characters. Very old mannequins from the 1910's and 20's. They were like family.
Sending my best,
Karima

JE said...

Hi Karima!

That's amazing. Does she still have them, per chance? Would love to see them!

Castle in the Air said...

Alas they were lost when my mom finally closed the shop... a long story. But I remember them all so well. Glass eyes, bald patches, chipped fingers. There were men, women, and kids!

Susan said...

Here's a link to a photo of some "beauties" in a shop window...lovely.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/7158

JE said...

Thanks, Susan, for the tip!
http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-tragic-beauties.html