Old Black and White Photos

Sarah Bernhardt, by Nadar [aka Gaspard Félix Tournachon], ca. 1864. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Sarah Bernhardt, by Nadar [aka Gaspard Félix Tournachon], ca. 1864. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

This portrait of Sarah Bernhardt is lovely – I’d never seen a close up of her before.

I could spend hours looking at black and white photographs, whether in books, in a gallery, or online. I was really excited when the Getty Trust made their public domain images freely available. Their collection includes photographs, objects, texts, paintings and much more. Here is their press release and their search gateway.

Rue Hotel de Ville

Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville by Eugène Atget, 1921. Albumen silver print. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

I like Atget’s photographs of Paris; they capture the essence of old Paris. I can just imagine walking up this street to see what’s beyond the turn.

Bouquiniste

Bouquiniste at Place de la Bastille, Eugène Atget, 1910 – 1911. Albumen silver print.Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

I don’t really read French but there’s always the possibility of a picture book or a cookbook – I can muddle through those.

cappucins

Chamber in Cappuccini catacombs in Rome by Bert Underwood, ca. 1900. Stereograph. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

I’m fascinated by old stereographs and bone chapels – this combines the two. I’ve seen this bone chapel but it’s changed since this photo was taken.

Ellen Terry photo by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1864.

Ellen Terry at Age 16, photo by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1864.Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

I really like this portrait, and it’s very timeless.

What are your favorite sources for freely accessible images?

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