In a Blue Moon, 1939 (Nell Dorr)

“It’s only once in a blue moon that days like these can happen but, when they do, they add a new dimension to the years that follow.” – Opening text of In a blue moon by Nell Dorr.

Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.  In a Blue Moon, a small hardcover made up of many of the same images from Mangroves (*) but printed in photogravure.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.

In a Blue Moon, a small hardcover made up of many of the same images from Mangroves (*) but printed in photogravure. Lettering by George A. DuBerg.
(*) Mangroves, a softbound portfolio of her photographs was self-published in a limited edition, under her first married name, Nell Koons. It comprises two of her poems and fifteen tipped-in halftones of flowers and nude girls and women, often perched in trees.

Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr :: Florida Keys, 1928. # 9 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: Florida Keys, 1928. # 9 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: from “In a Blue Moon”, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr :: The Secret Pool, 1928. # 18 also # 58, From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr ~ Nell Koons :: The Secret Pool, 1928. # 18 also # 58, From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum

In a blue moon combines dream-like images of nude women with close-up and abstracted images of flowers. The narrative of this photo-novella is the transition into adulthood.  The effect of this book is that something that has so much potential to be lame – pictures of girls, pictures of flowers, girls and flowers and girls with flowers in their hair – actually comes across as being quite profound and unashamedly beautiful.  Nell Dorr photographed with a Rollei camera only ever using available natural light.  The simplicity of her approach did not necessarily mean simplicity in the results that she achieved. Her imagery is filled with amazing abstract constructions and her portraits have an almost primal quality.  Her photographs are the autobiographical work of a strong and sensitive woman who created an internal place where beauty and truth could still flourish. [quoted from an article by Matthew Carson (Head Librarian & Archivist at the International Center of Photography) on Monsters & Madonnas]

Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr (1893-1988) :: Flower Laden, 1928. Gelatin silver print. # 7 From The Blue Moon. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr (1893-1988) :: Vine Leaves; 1928. Gelatin silver print. # 8 From The Blue Moon. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Nell Dorr - Nell Koons :: from "In a Blue Moon", published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939.
Nell Dorr :: Flower Laden, 1928-29. Gelatin silver print. # 7 From The Blue Moon. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Nell Dorr :: The Sea Grape Tree, 1927-29. # 36 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: The Sea Grape Tree, 1927-29. # 36 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: The Sea Grape Tree, 1923, printed after 1923. # 28 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: The Sea Grape Tree, 1923, printed after 1923. # 28 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: The Coco Loba Tree, ca. 1923-1929. # 44 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: The Coco Loba Tree, ca. 1923-1929. # 44 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr ::  Harp of the Wind, 1929. # 38 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: Harp of the Wind, 1929. # 38 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr ::  Wonder, 1928. # 75 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: Wonder, 1928. # 75 From In a Blue Moon, published 1939. Amon Carter Museum
Nell Dorr :: [Negative image of ‘Matin’], 1929. Amon Carter Museum
In a Blue Moon published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1939. [1st edition]; Nell Dorr; lettering by George A. DuBerg.

content sources:

ICP · International Center of Photography

Monsters & Madonnas (ICP blog)

Amon Carter museum of American art

Harvard University & Yale University Library

Pornokrates La Dame au Cochon

Félicien Victor Joseph Rops :: Pornokrates (or La Dame au Cochon), 1879. Signed Felicien Rops and dated 1879 lower left. Pastel, chalk, pencil and watercolour on paper. | src Sotheby's
Félicien Victor Joseph Rops :: Pornokrates (or La Dame au Cochon), 1879. Signed Felicien Rops and dated 1879 lower left. Pastel, chalk, pencil and watercolour on paper. | src Sotheby’s

Pornokrates was the scandalous success of the 1886 Les XX exhibition and solidified Rops’ growing reputation as the creator of sexually-charged, titillating imagery. Although Rops provided it with a Greek title, he changed the figure’s status from that of an ancient muse of love to a modern goddess of sex. ‘Rops presents a provocative vision of modern woman. She is naked rather than nude, realistically rendered rather than demurely sensuous. Love has no place in the modern worlds; even the ancient cupids leave in tears. Blindfolded and located atop a parapet, she haughtily walks a pig, an emblem of filth and temptation. Were it not for her brazen nakedness, she might be mistaken for a proper middle-class woman walking a well-bred dog. Adorned with the accoutrements of her trade, she parades not on the boulevards that were the street walker’s domain, but above the weeping personification of the arts – suggesting that the modern prostitute is truly the new muse of the arts.’ (Sura Levine, Les XX and the Belgian avant-garde, Kansas, 1992, p. 329). Quoted from source

Félicien Rops :: Pornocratès (Pornokrates) ou La Dame au cochon, 1878, aquarelle, pastel et rehauts de gouache, 75 x 48 cm. Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles en dépôt au musée Félicien Rops
Félicien Rops :: Pornocratès (Pornokrates) ou La Dame au cochon, 1878, aquarelle, pastel et rehauts de gouache, 75 x 48 cm. Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles en dépôt au musée Félicien Rops

Pornocratès (1878) : “Le dessin représente une grande femme nue, quart nature, se détachant sur un ciel bleu foncé parsemé d’étoiles et où des amours – 3 amours ! volent en s’enfuyant, à tire d’aîles, la femme, les yeux bandés est conduite en aveugle par un cochon. C’est intitulé – Pornocratie – Sous la frise les petits génies des beaux Arts courbent – en gémissant !! la tête !! La femme est chaussée & gantée de noir”1, décrit l’artiste. PornocratèsLa Dame au cochon ou Pornocratie, trois titres pour nommer ce dessin majeur de Rops qui illustre aujourd’hui encore l’esprit décalé et impertinent de l’art belge. La femme moderne piétine les arts anciens, figés dans la pierre. Elle se laisse guider par ses instincts, symbolisés par le cochon. C’est donc un dessin qui représente une double profession de foi pour l’artiste : en art, un refus virulent pour l’académisme et dans la société, une dénonciation de l’hypocrisie bourgeoise qui cache une certaine liberté de moeurs.

1- Lettre de Rops à Maurice Bonvoisin, Paris, 20 février 1879. http://www.ropslettres.be, n° d’édition 475

quoted from Musée Félicien Rops

Félicien Victor Joseph Rops :: Pornokrates or La Dame au cochon, Belgium, 1896. Soft-ground etching. Gift of Michael G. Wilson. Plate: 38.58 x 27.94 cm; image: 27.94 x 18.1 cm. | src LACMA ~ Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Félicien Victor Joseph Rops :: Pornokrates or La Dame au cochon, Belgium, 1896. Soft-ground etching. Gift of Michael G. Wilson. Plate: 38.58 x 27.94 cm; image: 27.94 x 18.1 cm. | src LACMA ~ Los Angeles County Museum of Art