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Patterns. Figure Studies [Photographs]

Patterns. Figure Studies [Photographs] by MAINGOT, Rosalind (1935)

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Author: MAINGOT, Rosalind
Title: Patterns. Figure Studies [Photographic Collection]
Year: 1935
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £1350
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Added under Manuscripts  

Portfolio of female nudes by the Australian-British photographer Rosalind Maingot who has been described as ’a skilled medical photographer with a loving eye for nude female bodies.’

The album, which post-dates Maingot’s work by at least a couple of decades, is homemade, possibly constructed by the Somerset photographer, Percy Hitchcock, A.R.P.S, presumably in the early 1960s. The card covers are covered in linen with a further layer of paper and the calligraphic title on the upper cover: ‘Patterns - Figure Studies 1961 MAINLY GINA’ in pencil - though the vintage images date from 20 or 30 years earlier. There are 40 numbered leaves of brown paper, loosely held within the cover, though once glued in place; several of the leaves have closed tears, evidence of a very few photographs being removed.

The first page has the pencil title ‘By Mlle Rosalind Maingot’ with 24 half-tone reproductions of Maingot’s work preceding the 59 silver gelatin prints. These all feature the same model with the sub-title ‘“Dolores” by Rosalind Maingot’ They comprise 59 silver gelatin studio photographs of varying sizes from 9x12cm up to 19x22cm. Most of the images are annotated in ink with numbers, thus ‘AO92’ etc. The photographs are all studio shots of a semi-clothed or fully nude young, brown-haired woman model, presumably the ‘Dolores’ of the title whose real name may well be ‘Gina’ as referenced on the album’s cover.

These images are mounted on the brown paper leaves and show Dolores standing, sitting, lying, stretching out, often addressing the camera directly with a knowing almost complacently knowing smile. This long sequence of photographs is interrupted by a group of photographs of drawings of female nudes, artist unknown, followed by six final larger images of Dolores - up to the largest which is 19x22cm in size. From page 26 to the end of the album there are further female nude photographs, most apparently reproducing published images including a run of images of Jane Russell as well as some more amateur original nudes. Before a final set of pencil nudes there are several newspaper reports of the work of an amateur photographer, Percy Hitchcock, A.R.P.S. of South Road, Taunton, who seems to be the most likely candidate for the album’s creation.

The Australian-British photographer Rosalind Maingot was born in 1894 and died in 1947. After a career as an actress in Australia, Maingot married a British surgeon and became a photographer in London producing a varied output of photographs which included medical photography as well as costumed tableaux and figure studies. Her work is widely held institutionally and was included in the Two Worlds exhibition of British women’s photographyt in Bath’s Octagon Galleries in 1999.
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