Portugal, c. 1915




Ao centro os meus tios avós Hugo Celso Navarro de Andrade Belmarço (1894-1963) e Maria José Barros da Costa Belmarço (1896-1956), atrás dele. Reconhecem-na? 

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Portugal, 1913

Ao centro, Maria José de Barros Pinto Rodrigues da Costa Belmarço

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Anonymous (17th Century)





Dear Readers,


Today we celebrate the blog's third anniversary. Having reached an average of 30 daily hits, I keep an eye on the stats to get a sense of what my visitors are looking for. Most visitors from Portugal seem to be looking for people, places and curiosities from the past, some of which are half forgotten but still deserving of an extra fifteen minutes. After all, there’s not such a great deal of Portuguese material on the web.


Many visitors, and perhaps the majority of those who come from abroad, reach Retrovisor via a google search. Some reach it via a few other blogs, which I take this opportunity to thank. I’m also proud to announce that Retrovisor was recently nominated for a “Versatile Blogger Award" (details here). My sponsor describes it as “a blog which has morphed from an antique photo blog into a collection of literary quotes from different sources”. As for me, I see it as a “cabinet de curiosités”. I strive to keep it versatile within the remit of its main themes, which are visible in the tag cloud on your right.


Thank you for your visit!




Image:  Cabinet de curiosités  here







What I had discovered that day in New York was the personal photo collection, one might say "family" albums, of Susanna, a professional female impersonator—as her business card glued to one of the album covers attested. The pictures show Susanna and a group of her male friends who would gather at a house in upstate New York to dress up and live for the weekend as typical, middle class suburban women, complete with tacky furniture and a Scrabble board. Their style of dress alternated between conservative, proper outfits and cheap but glamorous fashions. […] There is no "political correctness" in these pictures—they show women basically as housewives who know how to dress up for a night out, and certainly don't mind having a mid-afternoon drink at home. 


Another collection of photographs such as these may well be out there somewhere, but I wonder if we will ever see it. After all, these pictures were nearly "tossed to the wind" in an old box in an outdoor parking lot. Fortunately, in this case, the parking lot was an urban flea market where the remnants of our culture are constantly recycled for our curiosity and, I hope, your pleasure.


Robert Swope

in Casa Susanna

Edited by Michel Hurst and Robert Swope

powerhouse Books New York, NY

© 2005 Michel Hurst and Robert Swope




Sobre a fotografia vernacular leia aqui  

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