William Butler Yeats, by Alice Boughton, 1903

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

William Butler Yeats, 1903 (Alice Boughton / William Michael Murphy Collection?)

William Butler Yeats, 1903 (Alice Boughton / William Michael Murphy Collection?)

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature.
He was born in Sandymount, Ireland and educated there and in London. Yeats published his first works in the Dublin University Review in 1885 while a student at Dublin’s Metropolitan School of Art. Following the publication of his poems, he soon abandoned art school for other pursuits.
After returning to London in the late 1880s, Yeats met writers Oscar Wilde, Lionel Johnson and George Bernard Shaw. He also became acquainted with Maud Gonne, a supporter of Irish independence. This revolutionary woman served as a muse for Yeats for years. He even proposed marriage to her several times, but she turned him down. Around this time, Yeats founded the Rhymers’ Club poetry group with Ernest Rhys. He also joined the Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization that explored topics related to the occult and mysticism. While he was fascinated with otherworldly elements, Yeats’s interest in Ireland, especially its folktales, fueled much of his output. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. From 1900, Yeats’s poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life.
In addition to his poetry, Yeats devoted significant creative energy to writing plays. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years.
Yeats married Georgie Hyde-Lees in 1917, and they soon had daughter Anne and son William Michael. Then he became a political figure in the new Irish Free State, serving as a senator for six years beginning in 1922.
In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”.
Yeats continued to write until his death. Some of his important later works include The Wild Swans at Coole (1917), The Tower (1928) and Words for Music Perhaps and Other Poems (1932). Yeats passed away on January 28, 1939, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. He is remembered as one of the most significant modern poets of all time.
Alice Boughton (1866–1943) was an early 20th-century American photographer known for her photographs of many literary and theatrical figures of her time. She was a Fellow of Alfred Stieglitz’s Photo-Secession, a circle of highly creative and influential photographers whose artistic efforts succeeded in raising photography to a fine art form.
Boughton became one of the most distinguished portrait photographers of New York, although she did many landscapes in US and Europe. She produced studies of children, as well as female nudes in allegorical or natural settings. Among her more famous works are portraits of Eugene O’Neill, Albert Pinkham Ryder, George Arliss and Robert Louis Stevenson. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British National Portrait Gallery, the U.S. National Portrait Gallery, the George Eastman House and other important museums.
Sources / More to Read:
Wikipedia: W. B. Yeats
Biography.com: W. B. Yeats
Wikipedia: Alice Boughton

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Palm Beach, Florida, 1906

Restoration and colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Restoration and colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

On the beach, Palm Beach, Florida, 1906 (Detroit Publishing Co.- Library of Congress)

On the beach, Palm Beach, Florida, 1906 (Detroit Publishing Co.- Library of Congress)

The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. In 2000, Palm Beach had a year-round population of 10,468, with an estimated seasonal population of 30,000.
Palm Beach was established as a resort by Henry Morrison Flagler, who made the Atlantic coast barrier island accessible via his Florida East Coast Railway.
Henry Morrison Flagler (1830 – 1913) was an American industrialist and a founder of Standard Oil. He was also a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida. He is known as the father of both Miami and Palm Beach, Florida.
Flagler visited Florida in 1883, and, annoyed at the inadequate transportation and hotel facilities, he undertook to improve them. This project sparked Flagler’s interest in creating a new “American Riviera.”
He bought up and consolidated several local railroads and organized the Florida East Coast Railway, which he extended from Daytona through Palm Beach (1894) to Miami (1896) and thence 150 mi (241 km) to Key West (1912). Along the way, Flagler built additional hotels, establishing Florida’s east coast cities as tourist destinations.
To accommodate the workers who built the hotels, Flagler established a community of tents and shacks called “the Styx” on the island. He generally treated the workers, many of them African-Americans, well, but he didn’t want them living near him. So he laid out a city across the lake and built homes, churches and government buildings, creating the city of West Palm Beach.
In 1893, Flagler bought land on a little known barrier island called Palm Beach. He built the Royal Poinciana, which was the largest resort hotel in the world. It had six floors and 540 rooms. It and a smaller hotel nearby called The Breakers, became gathering places for wealth and fashion during “the season”, from December to April. After Flagler built a railroad bridge onto the island, wealthy people travelled down in private railcars for parties, golf, tennis, boating, bathing and fishing.
He encouraged people to farm Florida’s land by giving them a break on rail rates to transport their produce. Orange, grapefruit and lemon groves were soon dotting the state. He also established many of the state’s newspapers. Over thirty years, Flagler had invested about €45 million in railroad, home and hotel construction.
In May of 1913, Flagler died in Palm Beach at 83 years of age. At 3pm on the day of the funeral, every engine on the Florida East Coast Railway stopped wherever it was for ten minutes as a tribute to Flagler. It was reported that people along the railway line waited all night for the passing of the funeral train as it travelled from Palm Beach to St. Augustine.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Palm Beach, Florida
Wikipedia: Henry Flagler
Encyclopedia.com: Henry Morrison Flagler
Palm Beach County History Online: Frangler Era
Library of Congress
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Miss Evelyn Nesbit, New York, 1903

Restoration & Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Restoration & Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Miss N [Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, at a time when she was brought to the studio by Stanford White], (photo: Gertrude Käsebier), 1903

Miss N [Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, at a time when she was brought to the studio by Stanford White], ( Gertrude Käsebier / Library of Congress), 1903

Florence Evelyn Nesbit (1884 – 1967), was a popular American chorus girl and artists’ model. Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era.
By the time of her 16th birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was known to millions as the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty, and whose innocent sexuality was used to sell everything from chocolates to perfume. Soon after arriving in New York, Nesbit had become the mistress of millionaire architect Stanford White.
Stanford White (1853 – 1906) was considered the most distinguished architect of his day. He had designed more than fifty of New York’s most admired buildings, including the Madison Square Gardens and the Washington Square Arch. He was also a spectacular ladies-man, who kept several different mistresses at once, secreted in a number of love nests throughout the city. In one of his apartments, White kept Evelyn Nesbit, who he had despoiled upon her arrival in New York. He had fallen madly in love with her, despite the fact that at 47, White was nearly three times her age. Evelyn remained with White until she was 19 and at that point she left him and became involved with Harry Thaw.
Harry Kendall Thaw (1871 – 1947) was the son of Pittsburgh coal and railroad baron William Thaw, Sr. Heir to a multimillion-dollar mine and railroad fortune, Harry Thaw had a history of severe mental instability and led a profligate life.
In 1905, Nesbit, following her mother’s advice, she married him.
At the age of 34, Harry Thaw was slowly going insane. He persecuted Evelyn about her former relationship with White. Once, he beat her with a belt for hours and made her confess every sexual act in which she had engaged with Stanford White.
A year later, on June 25, 1906, Thaw and Evelyn, accompanied by two friends, attended the opening of a play at the dining theater on the roof of Madison Square Gardens. The theater was a frequent gathering place for New York society. Soon after taking their seats, Thaw noticed Stanford White being ushered to a table in the privileged section near the footlights. He approached his wife’s ex-lover, and shot him three times at point-blank range, twice in the face and once in the shoulder.
Nesbit became the star witness in a three-month trial (as the press call it “The Trial of the Century”) full of shocking details about her relationships with the two men. She claimed that as a stage performer, and while still a 14-year-old, she attracted the attention of Stanford White, who first gained the family’s trust and then sexually assaulted her while she was unconscious. Evelyn was cast in the press as ‘the girl in the red velvet swing’ in reference to a swing that White had installed in his luxurious, multi-storey apartment. Evelyn’s mother was accused of prostituting her daughter to White. Thaw was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a second trial, and spent eight years in an asylum for the criminally insane. Nesbit divorced Thaw in 1915.
In the 1920s, Nesbit became the proprietor of either a tearoom or speakeasy located in the West Fifties in Manhattan. It was during this period and well into the 1930s that Nesbit struggled with alcoholism and morphine addiction. During the 1930s she worked on burlesque stages throughout the country, though not as a stripper.
She published two memoirs, The Story of My Life (1914), and Prodigal Days (1934). During the years of World War II, Nesbit lived in Los Angeles, teaching ceramics and sculpting at the Grant Beach School of Arts and Crafts.
Nesbit died in a nursing home in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 82.
Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women. A major collection of her work is held by the University of Delaware.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: Evelyn Nesbit
Wikipedia: Stanford White
Wikipedia: Harry Kendall Thaw
Wikipedia: Gertrude Käsebier
“American Eve” by Paula Uruburu
BBC: The World’s First Supermodel
Dailymail: America’s supermodel, Evelyn Nesbit…
Affictor.com: Nesbit, in 1952 – “I’ve Discovered An Exciting New Career In Art”
Dead men do tell tales: The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing
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Treasures of New York: Stanford White


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Danish Man, Ellis Island, 1909

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Danish Man, 1909 (Photo: Augustus F. Sherman, New York Public Library)

Danish Man, 1909 (Photo: Augustus F. Sherman, New York Public Library)

Augustus Frederick Sherman worked as a clerk at Ellis Island in the years 1892-1925. He was an untrained, yet highly gifted photographer who created hundreds of images documenting the new arrivals to America. Fascinated by the diverse origins and cultural backgrounds of his subjects, Sherman created a riveting series of portraits, offering viewers a compelling perspective on this dynamic period in American history.
Ellis Island, in New York Bay, was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954.
Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island’s hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered “likely to become a public charge.” About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity.
Ellis Island was sometimes known as “The Island of Tears” or “Heartbreak Island” because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage.
Sources:
Wikipedia: Augustus Frederick Sherman
Ellis Island Foundation
The New York Public Library Digital Collections
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Από το 1892 μέχρι το 1954, η νήσος Έλλις ήταν η πύλη είσόδου της Αμερικής. Σ’ αυτό το διάστημα εκατομμύρια μετανάστες απ’ όλο τον κόσμο έφτασαν εκεί μετά από ταξίδι μηνών με πλοίο.
Οι ντόπιες αρχές τους κατέγραφαν, τους εξέταζαν και αποφάσιζαν αν θα τους επιτραπεί η είσοδος. Για το 2% απ’ αυτούς, η νήσος Έλλις ήταν το μόνο μέρος της Αμερικής που θα έβλεπαν ποτέ. Δεν τους επιτράπηκε η είσοδος για λόγους υγείας, εγκληματικού παρελθόντος ή γιατί θεωρήθηκε ότι δεν θα μπορούσαν να ενσωματωθούν. Αυτοί ήταν υποχρεωμένοι να διασχίσουν πάλι τον Ατλαντικό για να επιστρέψουν στην πατρίδα τους. Γι αυτό, η νήσος Έλλις ονομάστηκε και “Το Νησί των Δακρύων”.
Ο Ογκούστους Φρέντερικ Σέρμαν, ήταν ένας απλός υπάλληλος στο Ellis Island. Ήταν όμως και ένας ταλαντούχος ερασιτέχνης φωτογράφος. Γοητευμένος από την πολυπολιτισμικοτητα των νεοφερμένων έβγαλε εκατοντάδες πορτραίτα που σήμερα αποτελούν ντοκουμέντα της ιστορίας της μετανάστευσης στην Αμερική. “Ο Δανός” είναι μία από τις φωτογραφίες του.

ΔΕΙΤΕ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ / SEE ALSO MY OTHER POST
ALGERIAN MAN. ca 1906-1914

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