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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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Chiaroscuro: 1920

Chiaroscuro: 1920

            Come plié with us!

New York circa 1920. "Isadora Duncan dancers." Nitrate negative by the Prussian- born American photographer Arnold Genthe (1869-1942). View full size.

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These are three of the six women known as the "Isadorables" and called Duncan's adopted daughters. Fortuny's Delphos dresses, with the famously fine and intentionally uneven hand-pleating that no one has ever been able to reproduce, were so expensive that it's hard to imagine dancing in them, but the Isadorables weren't the only ones who did.

Mariano Fortuny

The dancers are all wearing Mariano Fortuny Delphos gowns. These couture gowns today can cost up to several thousand dollars. Mariano introduced this gown in 1907 and it was very much in style up until the 1930's.

The Three Graces

Now this is a work of art! Slightly Witkinesque.


What beautiful, ethereal women. The condition of this makes it kind of other-worldly. Love it.



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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