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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rites of Spring: 1927

Rites of Spring: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. "Cherry blossoms -- dancers at Tidal Basin." Ethereally moldy. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Movement 101

Sorry, but all that comes to my mind when I see such stilted, soporific scenes is Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn and company busting their studiously aesthetic moves in "The Music Man."

Whoops, dammit

Note to self: Store the cases for the camera gear behind the camera, not in the scene. Next time.

Cool dancers

Judging by the attire on the onlookers, this must have been a very chilly day to be dressed as lightly as the lovely dancers are! It looks like they had just barely removed their outerwear and kicked their shoes off before assuming that pose!

A Murder of Crows

describes the non-diaphanously black-clothed onlookers, who have gathered to observe what must have been a spontaneous (and oh-so-titillating) photo shoot. Love the dancer's street shoes strewn almost carelessly on the slope nearby, contrasting with the bags set down neatly in a row. Pretty cool.

[The somber onlookers strike me as Goreyesque. -Dave]

Scarf dancing

There was quite a bit of this terpsichore going on throughout the 20's and even earlier. The chief ingredient was at least one or more fetching young persons scantily clad in diaphanous, scarf-like garments such as could be imagined to invoke classic Greece. The presentations differed very little in terms of dance style, the main distinction between various groups being the amount of undergarments worn. It was all about beauty and freedom and liberation, and I congratulate them all for their efforts.

The founder of the style was of course Isadora Duncan, who met an ignominious end in the year of this photo when one of her famous flowing scarves became entangled both around her neck and the wheel of an automobile.


Sometimes a Shorpy photo just stands out as something special. For me, this is one of those photos.

Looks surreal

I love the effect the mold gives the image. Makes it look almost like a high key image. Such a contrast to the way the girls are dressed compared to the rather stuffy looking onlookers.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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