Adorable mug shot of 19th century pear-nibbling toddler

1893 Mug shot of two year old Francois BertillonAlphonse Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who was responsible for standardizing the modern mug shot. (Fun fact: the profile shot was included because Bertillon thought our ear shape might become a unique identifier, in the days before fingerprinting). This freaking adorable mug shot features his two-year old son François Bertillon, a hardened criminal who was caught nibbling all the pears from a basket on 17 October 1893. Continue reading

Bizarre beauty contests

Winners of the Miss Perfect Posture contest at chiropractors convention in Chicago, May 1956, pose with their trophies and x-rays

Marianne Baba, Lois Conway and Ruth Swensen, winners of the Miss Perfect Posture contest at a national chiropractors convention in Chicago, May 1956. (Image via NPR; click on image for more great photographs of this contest).

Contestants of the Miss Lovely Eyes competition (Florida, 1930s) pose with creepy face blocking masks.

Miss Lovely Eyes Contest, Florida, 1930s. (Image via Buzzfeed).

Lobster king Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses, who won the prize in Atlantic City's famous beauty pageant parade, date unknown.

Lobster king Harry Hackney with his Lobster Waitresses, who won the prize in Atlantic City’s famous beauty pageant parade, date unknown. (Image via X-ray delta one on Flickr).

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Three ridiculously interesting photographs from the history of art

Pablo Picasso wearing a bull's mask.

The models of American Gothic pose with Grant Wood's iconic painting.

Models for Grant Woods’ ‘American Gothic’ (1930) posed with painting. Via Twenty Two Words.

Robert Cornelius, the first photography self portrait.

Daguerreotype of Robert Cornelius, likely the first photographic self-portrait ever taken, c 1839. Via American Library of Congress.

These three intriguing photographs have no real relationship with one another, except that each image reveals a little bit of the hidden history of art. Read on for more about these remarkable images. Continue reading

The Disciples: James Mollison’s portraits of music fans

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Dolly Parton concert, Wembley Arena, London, 19 March 2007.

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Dolly Parton concert, Wembley Arena, London, 19 March 2007. “Dolly Parton is the most successful female country artist in history, with a trademark look- blonde wig and astonishing 40-inch bust- originally based on a prostitute in her home town. Some fans carried off the look with conviction, and for others the wig was just a party touch.”

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Oasis concert, Manchester Stadium, 3 July 2005.

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Oasis concert, Manchester Stadium, 3 July 2005. “The look of the band- hair brushed forward and green army jackets- had clearly influenced their loyal fans, mainly men in their 20s and early 30s. It felt more like a crowd at a football match than a concert. People arrived there already drunk and there was an atmosphere of latent violence.”

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Missy Elliot concert, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 28 November 2005.

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Missy Elliot concert, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 28 November 2005. “…The crowd were predominantly committed hip-hop fans, ranging n age from their teens to their 30s….we went for the girls who styled themselves along the lines of the star. It turned out that Missy had injured her ankle, and she performed that night in a blinged-up electric granny-cart.”

James Mollison, The Disciples series: McFly concert, Kings Dock, Liverpool, 9 July 2005.

James Mollison, The Disciples series: McFly concert, Kings Dock, Liverpool, 9 July 2005. “Bedroom-poster teenybopper sensations McFly were ‘the leading light of Britain’s boy-band scene’…The audience of girl was incredibly young- some as young as three and the oldest about 14.”

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Björk concert, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 10 & 14 April 2008.

James Mollison, The Disciples series: Björk concert, Hammersmith Apollo, London, 10 & 14 April 2008. “On my way to the concert, I felt a sense of regret that I hadn’t photographed her fans ten years earlier, when Björk was at her most avant-garde. But the crowd at Hammersmith turned out to be edgier and more alternative than I had imagined.”

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