After the devastation of the Great War, cultural life blossomed and reached its heyday in Berlin. The city became the third largest municipality in the world. The city was packed with bars, restaurants, dance halls, cabaret theaters offering risque shows, and huge cinemas with full-sized symphony orchestras providing live musical accompaniment to the silent films.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.8 million inhabitants make it the European Union’s most populous city, according to population within city limits. One of Germany’s sixteen constituent states, Berlin is surrounded by the State of Brandenburg and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg’s capital. Berlin’s urban area, which has a population of around 4.5 million, is the second most populous urban area in Germany after the Ruhr. The Berlin-Brandenburg capital region has over six million inhabitants and is Germany’s third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Berlin straddles the banks of the Spree, which flows into the Havel (a tributary of the Elbe) in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city’s main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree, Havel and Dahme, the largest of which is Lake Müggelsee. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes. The city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701), the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), and the Third Reich (1933–1945). Berlin in the 1920s was the third-largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided; West Berlin became a de facto exclave of West Germany, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany, while Bonn became the West German capital. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries also include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities such as the Humboldt University, the Technical University, the Free University, the University of the Arts, ESMT Berlin and Bard College Berlin. Its Zoological Garden is the most visited zoo in Europe and one of the most popular worldwide. With Babelsberg being the world’s first large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an increasingly popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a very high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene.
Berlin contains three World Heritage Sites: Museum Island; the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin; and the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates. Other landmarks include the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, Potsdamer Platz, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the East Side Gallery, the Berlin Victory Column, Berlin Cathedral and the Berlin Television Tower, the tallest structure in Germany. Berlin has numerous museums, galleries, libraries, orchestras, and sporting events. These include the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the German Historical Museum, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Natural History Museum, the Humboldt Forum, the Berlin State Library, the Berlin State Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Marathon. (Wikipedia)
Have a look at these historical photographs that show what Berlin looked like in the 1920s.
Just two weeks after her 22nd birthday in 1929, Lee Miller was leaving New York at the height of her fame as a model. A regular on the cover of Vogue, she was, by common consent, one of the most striking women of the age. A favourite subject of the great photographers Edward Steichen and Arnold Genthe, her pale blonde hair was cut so short that she looked, in Cecil Beaton’s words, “like a sun-kissed goat boy from the Appian Way”.
But Miller’s vim and beauty stirred up trouble for herself and those who loved her. She was constantly under siege from men who wanted to assert ownership over her, and she drove artists in their legions to pinnacles of creativity. Cocteau cast her in his film The Blood of a Poet, Picasso outlined her perfect form in no less than six portraits.
None, however, came close to the passion she inspired in the artist and photographer Man Ray. For three intense years they worked side by side in his studio, first as artist and apprentice, then as lovers and artistic equals, finally as bitter adversaries. By the time they parted in 1932, Ray had driven himself to the brink of a madness from which he would take decades to recover.
Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose (April 23, 1907 – July 21, 1977), was an American photographer and photojournalist. She was a fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. During the Second World War, she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau.
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a 50-mile (80 km) estuary down to the North Sea, it has been a major settlement for two millennia. The City of London, its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the Romans as Londinium and retains boundaries close to its medieval ones. Since the 19th century, “London” has also referred to the metropolis around this core, historically split between the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, and Hertfordshire, which largely makes up Greater London, the region governed by the Greater London Authority. The City of Westminster, to the west of the City, has for centuries held the national government and parliament.
London, as one of the world’s global cities, exerts strong influence on its arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, health care, media, tourism and communications. Its GDP (€801.66 billion in 2017) makes it the biggest urban economy in Europe and one of the major financial centres in the world. In 2019 it had the second highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe after Paris and the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe after Moscow. With Europe’s largest concentration of higher education institutions, it includes Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, the London School of Economics in social sciences, and the comprehensive University College London. The city is home to the most 5-star hotels of any city in the world. In 2012, London became the first city to host three Summer Olympic Games.
London’s diverse cultures mean over 300 languages are spoken. The mid-2018 population of Greater London of about 9 million, made it Europe’s third-most populous city. It accounts for 13.4 per cent of the UK population. Greater London Built-up Area is the fourth most populous in Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow and Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The London metropolitan area is the third-most populous in Europe after Istanbul’s and Moscow’s, with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016.
London covers four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the Palace of Westminster along with Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church, and the historic settlement in Greenwich, where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. It has numerous museums, galleries, libraries and sporting venues, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest rapid transit system in the world. (Wikipedia)
(Photos by Robert Frank and Frederick James Wilfred)
Loretta Young (born Gretchen Young; January 6, 1913 – August 12, 2000) was an American actress. Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953. She won the 1948 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1947 film The Farmer’s Daughter and received an Oscar nomination for her role in Come to the Stable in 1949. Young moved to the relatively new medium of television, where she had a dramatic anthology series, The Loretta Young Show, from 1953 to 1961. The series earned three Emmy Awards and was rerun successfully on daytime TV and later in syndication. In the 1980s, Young returned to the small screen and won a Golden Globe for her role in Christmas Dove in 1986. Young, a devout Roman Catholic, worked with various Catholic charities after her acting career.
Young died of ovarian cancer on August 12, 2000, at the home of her maternal half-sister, Georgiana Montalbán (the wife of actor Ricardo Montalban) in Santa Monica, California. She was interred in the family plot in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her ashes were buried in the grave of her mother, Gladys Belzer.
John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as the founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. He was characterised for the rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.
Born in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. In 1956, he formed his first band, the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. He was initially the group’s de facto leader, a role gradually ceded to McCartney. In the mid-1960s, he authored two books: In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, both collections of nonsense writings and line drawings. Starting with 1967’s “All You Need Is Love”, his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture. In 1969, he started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono, and held the two week-long anti-war demonstration Bed-Ins for Peace. After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Lennon continued his music career as a solo artist and as Ono’s collaborator.
From 1968 to 1972, Lennon produced many records with Ono, including a trilogy of avant-garde albums, his first solo LPs John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and the international top 10 singles “Give Peace a Chance”, “Instant Karma!”, “Imagine” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”. After moving to New York City in 1971, his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a three-year attempt by the Nixon administration to deport him. Lennon and Ono temporarily separated during his two-year “lost weekend”, a period that included chart-topping collaborations with Elton John (“Whatever Gets You thru the Night”) and David Bowie (“Fame”). In 1975, Lennon disengaged from the music business to raise his infant son Sean and, in 1980, returned with the Ono collaboration Double Fantasy. He was shot and killed in the archway of his Manhattan apartment building by a Beatles fan, Mark David Chapman, three weeks after the album’s release.
As a performer, writer or co-writer, Lennon had 25 number one singles in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Double Fantasy, his best-selling album, won the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 1982, Lennon was honoured with the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2002, Lennon was voted eighth in a BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer and thirty-eighth greatest artist of all time. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (in 1997) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice, as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1994).
Los Angeles, often spoken and written as its initialism, L.A., is the largest city in California. With a 2020 population of 3,898,747, it is the second-largest city in the United States, after New York City, and the third-largest city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic and cultural diversity, Hollywood entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolitan area.
Los Angeles lies in a basin in Southern California, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, with mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m), and deserts. The city, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2), is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States. The Los Angeles metropolitan area (MSA) is home to a population of 13.1 million, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in the nation after that of New York. Greater Los Angeles includes metro Los Angeles as well as the Inland Empire and Ventura County. It is the second most populous U.S. combined statistical area, also after New York, with a 2015 estimate of 18.7 million people.
Home to the Chumash and Tongva, the area that became Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542. The city was founded on September 4, 1781, under Spanish governor Felipe de Neve, on the village of Yaanga. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and thus became part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The city was further expanded with the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, which delivers water from Eastern California.
Los Angeles has a diverse and robust economy, and hosts businesses in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. It also has the busiest container port in the Americas. In 2018, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a gross metropolitan product of over $1.0 trillion, making it the city with the third-largest GDP in the world, after Tokyo and New York City. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the 2028 Summer Olympics. (Wikipedia)
Another beautiful actress from the silent screen who came to a tragic end. Jeanette Loff is definitely someone worth remembering not only for her beautiful face, but for her many talents. Her life came to a tragic end when she was just thirty-five years old.
“I don’t think there is much of a story in me. I haven’t had any strange or remarkable experiences. I haven’t done anything startling.” – Jeanette
The first Hollywood Christmas Parade, held on December 5, 1928, was known as “Santa Claus Lane” and featured Santa and Jeanette Loff (a last-minute replacement for Lili Damita). That evening, crowds thronged Christmas-tree lined Hollywood Boulevard (rechristened Santa Claus Lane) from Vine Street to La Brea Avenue. With Jeanette Loff, Santa Claus drove his reindeer-drawn sleigh east on the brilliantly illuminated course to La Brea, and returned over the same route.
The “parade” continued every evening during the Christmas season with a different prominent film player (Lili Damita showed up the following evening) each night.
However, Jeanette Loff, the first starlet of what is known today as the Hollywood Christmas Parade, is probably little known today. At the time of the first Santa Clause Lane, Loff had appeared in twelve films since 1926, working her way up to costarring parts in Hold ‘Em Yale (1928) with Rod La Rocque, Annapolis (1928) with Johnny Mack Brown and Love Over Night (1928), again with La Roque.
Jeanette Loff was born on October 9, 1905 (most records claim 1906), in Orofino, Idaho to Marius and Inga (Loseth) Loff. Studio publicity claimed that her father was a famous Danish violinist, but he was in fact a barber and later a farmer.
After living for a time in Wadena, Canada, the Luff’s relocated to Lewiston, Idaho. After her high school graduation, the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where Jeanette enrolled at the Ellison & White Conservatory of Music where she learned to play the pipe-organ. When a local theater needed a pipe-organ player, Jeanette got the position. She worked her way up to playing at bigger and better Portland theaters.
Loff’s discovery in Hollywood is open to several versions. Whatever her introduction to films, in 1926, with her extremely wholesome looks, she earned a bit part in Universal’s The Collegian series followed by another extra part in Young April (1926) a film for Cecil B. DeMille’s company at Pathé, where she was put under contract.
DeMille cast her in two Westerns, followed by leading roles in the two films with Rod La Rocque. Over the next few years, she costarred in several good, but not outstanding films. At some point during her early career, she also posed for nude photographs.
Shortly after appearing as the first actress to ride in Hollywood’s premier Santa Claus Lane, Loff was brought to Universal to audition for The King of Jazz (1930), a possible million-dollar film they were producing. Executives were doubting their original choice for an important leading female role when producer Paul Bern arranged for her to audition. In the audition, she sang the number, “The Bridal Veil,” in a clear lyric soprano that impressed producers to give her the part.
In 1929, Loff’s parents had divorced, and her mother Inga and two sisters, Myrtle and Irene, moved to Los Angeles (her father, Marius, remained in Oregon until his death). That same year, Jeanette was also divorced from her first husband, traveling jewelry salesman Harry Roseboom whom she had secretly married in 1927. She reportedly had affairs with Gilbert Roland, Paul Bern–who tried unsuccessfully to cast her in a film–and lyricist Walter O’Keefe.
After making three more films over the next year, she grew tired of Hollywood and moved to New York, struggling to find stage roles, appearing only in the short-lived Broadway musical, Free for All, which closed after twelve days.
In 1933, she returned to Hollywood when she heard that Universal was planning to re-release The King of Jazz. Thinking it would revive her career, she accepted the leading role in St. Louis Woman (1934) with Johnny Mack Brown (she also worked with Brown in Annapolis) for a poverty row studio. The film did poorly, but she made two shorts and three more films that same year, none of them money-makers. Her last film was Million Dollar Baby (1934) for Monogram Pictures.
From then on, she retired from films. In 1935, she married liquor salesman, Bertram “Bert” Friedlob. The following year, Friedlob produced Bert Wheeler’s Hollywood Stars in Person revue and included Loff in the cast. Her marriage to Friedlob was rocky; he was a womanizer who had affairs with Lana Turner and many others.
On August 1, 1942, Loff ingested ammonia at her Beverly Hills home at 702 North Crescent Drive; she was treated for mouth and throat burns at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital where she died three days later. Loff was only 35.
The coroner was unable to determine if her death was accidental or a suicide. Reportedly at the time, she was suffering from a stomach ailment and accidentally took the wrong bottle of medication.
However, wouldn’t she have noticed the ammonia smell? In any event, her death certificate called her death a “probable suicide.” Surprising, some in her family maintained that she had been murdered, but never publicly offered proof.
Photographer whose work vividly expressed the essence of creative personalities ranging from Janis Joplin to Arthur Miller. Like that of many photographers, David Gahr’s work was better known than his name. He was among the first photographers to specialize in taking pictures of popular musicians and, more specifically, to think them worthy of being photographed.
As a consequence, he caught the likes of Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Bruce Springsteen disarmed, and his shots of them for album covers and magazines helped to propel them to fame and, for millions of record buyers, defined their heroes’ images.
“Janis Joplin would like you or hate you on sight or insight. And was rarely wrong. She shrieked when I told her my assignment was for Time Magazine. ‘Damn, now my old man will know I’ve done something, I am someone! He always reads Time. Damn, damn. Good!’ We miss you, Joplin, wherever you are.”
In 1970 Gahr shot Janis Joplin for the cover of Rolling Stone, and also snapped the cover of her classic posthumous LP Pearl. These candid snapshots were taken by David Gahr at the Chelsea Hotel in June 1970, just four months before her death at the age of 27.
(Photos by David Gahr)
After Japan’s surrender in World War II, the country rapidly changed from an imperial nation under an emperor, to a democratic and demilitarized state.
Much of Japan lay in ruins after the war, devastated by air raids and the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet the country’s economy grew so fast that by 1964, Tokyo hosted the Olympic Games. Japan adopted a new, progressive constitution, allied with the United States and enshrined limits on the use of military force.
These amazing photographs were taken by an American lieutenant colonel in Counter Intelligence operations stationed in Kumamoto during the American occupation of Japan after World War II.