November 23, 2011

Church Square, Pretoria, South Africa, 1905

This 1905 photograph shows Church Square in Pretoria, South Africa, looking east. The cast iron fountain, known as the Sammy Marks Fountain, was imported from Ireland by businessman Sammy Marks (1843-1920) and moved from Church Square to the city zoo in 1910. Born in Lithuania, the son of a Jewish tailor, Marks came to South Africa in 1868. He began his career by peddling jewelry and cutlery, but soon became involved in the rapidly developing gold-, diamond-, and coal-mining industries. Behind the fountain is the recently completed Tudor Chambers, then the largest office block in Pretoria, built by George Heys (1852-1939), another prominent South African businessman. Heys was a native of Durban who moved to Pretoria as a young man. He founded the (stage) coach transport company of Heys and Gibson that operated between Kimberley and Pretoria, and later branched out into real estate and investments. The photograph is from the Van der Waal Collection at the Department of Library Services at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Van der Waal Collection forms part of an archive of South African architecture assembled by architectural historian Dr. Gerhard-Mark van der Waal.

Chola Woman, Full-Length Portrait, Standing, Facing Right, La Paz, Bolivia

This photograph of a Bolivian woman is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855-1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890-1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. Max T. Vargas, a noted Peruvian photographer and postcard publisher who worked in La Paz, Bolivia, in the early part of the 20th century, took the photograph.

Map of the World

This late 18th-century Latin map of the world by the Augsburg map publisher Tobias Lotter (1717-77) is based on an earlier map by the French cartographer Guillaume de l'Isle (1675-1726). De l'Isle was among the group of French cartographers who wrested mapmaking preeminence from the Dutch in the late 17th century. De l’Isle was a child prodigy, having drawn his first map at age nine. He was trained in history and geography, as well as in mathematics and astronomy. He drew extensively on classical Arabic and Persian mapmakers and travel writers, and insisted on scientific precision in his design. In 1702, two years after the publication of his first atlas, he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Science and in 1718 was appointed head royal geographer. Still uncharted at the time of this map’s publication were the west coast of North America, the Arctic, and the eastern coast of Australia, which was known as New Holland. The map uses color tints and borders to demarcate divisions between the continents, as the sharp borders between Europe, Asia, and Africa highlight. In addition to mapping territory, de l’Isle’s map presents voyages of exploration across the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The Actor Nakamura Utaemon in the Role of Kato Masakiyo

The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This print from between 1818 and 1830 shows the actor Nakamura Utaemon portrayed as a warrior in the role of Kato Kiyomasa (Masakiyo), a 16th-century general who led Japanese forces in the Seven Year War (1592-98) against Korea.

Peony and Canary

The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This print, made in 1833 or 1834, is part of the series "Small Flowers" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). It is unusual in its background color and its size. Other examples of this print, found in the British Museum and the Tokyo National Museum, have an intense blue background. It is similar to a print in the James A. Michener Collection in the Honolulu Academy of Arts and, like it, has a combination of censor's and artist's seals.

Suffrage Parade, New York City, May 6, 1912

The suffrage parade was a new development in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States. It was a bold tactic, adopted by suffragists and the more militant suffragettes shortly after the turn of the century. Although some women chose to quit the movement rather than march in public, others embraced the parade as a way of publicizing their cause and combating the idea that women should be relegated to the home. Parades often united women of different social and economic backgrounds. Because they were carried out in public, they also became newsworthy. The media coverage – even when it was negative – helped to spread the suffragists’ message. Some states allowed women the franchise earlier, but American women were granted the right to vote nationwide in 1920, under the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.