Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nude with The New Yorker

Today is a clothing-optional day here on the blog. I hope you didn't overdress.

A series of four anonymous vintage nude photographs from the 1950's were sold on eBay in March of 2014. These black and white photos shot in an unkempt apartment strike one immediately as the work of an amateur. They are severely lit and the subject is overexposed—no pun intended. Still they merit a blog post here because in the first of these photos the model is posed with a copy of our favorite magazine, The New Yorker. Yes, The New Yorker. She smiles and appears to be enjoying herself. Perhaps she is reading Thurber.

Now of course I know a studio prop when I see one. Nevertheless, I see no reason not to believe that this young woman was an avid reader and that she proved to be a lifelong devotee of the magazine. She might be about 80 now and, based on the limited evidence, just perhaps enjoying the fruits of a literary and no doubt adventurous life.

—Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Vintage nude posed with The New Yorker, c. 1954.
Just take a look at that sickly houseplant! The issue of The New Yorker works far better as a studio prop.

Vintage nude, c. 1954
That radiator isn't much better than the houseplant.

Vintage nude, c. 1954
I'm beginning to suspect the photographer wasn't too interested in the backgrounds.

Vintage nude, c. 1954
She's pretty. I don't think the photographer was able to do her justice.

Although the eBay item title reads "1940's," the magazine issue in the photo dates from 1954.

EBay Item Description

EBay Bid History
[End of eBay listing] 

Abe Birnbaum, The New Yorker, August 21, 1954

Vintage nude posed with The New Yorker of August 21, 1954.

Note: Sorry, there simply are no other blog posts here quite like this one, but there is one other post I also consider not safe for work. Feel free to check it out, but only if you're not working.

Was this Abe Birnbaum's finest hour? Perhaps I should rephrase the question. Would you like to see more of the New Yorker art of Abe Birnbaum?


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