Archive for March, 2011

Washing Day, Chicago 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy

Children Play War, 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy
Thanks to all who joined us for afternoon tea at Kaye Sera’s Bizarre and heard first hand, Maggie’s commentary on these images and nearly 100 more –  spanning 50s Chicago to 90s Melbourne.  It was wonderful to have you with us.
If you’d like to view photos of the event – including some great portraits of Maggie, generously provided by Trudy Schuringa Photography, go to:

I guess children have always played war; I certainly remember carving bunkers and forts amongst the blackberries around my childhood home , in the 1970s.  The neigbourhood kids merged in spontaneous play that seemed to go on for days… and there were never any adults present.
In a way, Maggie kind of validated the children in her Chicago neighbourhood – their play and who they were.  When they ‘played war’, she saw them turning it into a performance just for her:
‘These children set up a war for me…and I thought they were terrific.  The double exposures were accidental, but I liked them – especially the one that looks like there is a noose hanging in the background. (It’s actually a curtain cord hanging in a window).  I took them to Life Magazine, and they didn’t care for the double exposures at all, but it didn’t bother me…that guy wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground anyway!’

Maggie describes the location as a ‘mixed neighbourhood’ – near to where she lived in the early 1950s.  It was North of The Loop and not that far from Lake Michigan.
We had been searching for these negatives for years and it was when Maggie saw the work by our print consultant, Tiffaney Bishop in her exhibition:  Mothers’ War Cry, recently exhibited at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance. that she began asking about them again.
Thankfully we did find these negs a few months ago and indeed there is a haunting connection between Maggie’s work and the montage works created by Bishop, which are based on actual wartime photographs of the 1940s.

The Streets of Chicago, 1950s

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy

‘She’s a Nigger, don’t take her picture…’ Until recently, we only had a scan of a print of this one.  In the last few months we have found the original negative.  A print has been requested by William Kelly’s Humanist Art Collection

The girls in the first image have just collected their free milk from the delivery truck and for those of you who know The Botticelli Girl, her ‘gypsy’ friends appear on the steps. It was wonderful to find this original 33mm neg strip with our beautiful haunting girl and find that she was not alone after all.

Thanks to Cameron Stephen of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale for his assistance with scanning these recent additions.

If you’re in Melbourne, don’t forget to book for ‘An Intimate Gathering’ the afternoon tea and slide show celebration of Maggie’s 86th Birthday.  Hear Maggie talk about these images and so many more.  See previous post for details.

Thank you to all of you who have subscribed to this blog.  It means that you automatically get these updates without me having to email you.  It’s great to know you’re all out there!

An Intimate Gathering

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy
A few days after surgery, Oct 2010

I promised to share a little of what Maggie has been through with the loss of her left eye.  Two years ago, Maggie had a nasty little skin cancer on the outside of her lower eye lid, which wasn’t causing her too much bother.  She refused surgery – ‘a photographer losing an eye would be a fate worse than death!’ 

Ready for surgery, October 2010

Surgeons removed Maggie’s eye and everything in the eye socket.  This left a great hole that needed to be filled;  they successfully completed a major skin graft which took a huge ‘scoop’ of skin from her forehead and ‘flipped’ in over the eye socket.  Two weeks later she looked like this:


Thank you to all the sensational staff at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne.  The surgeons and nurses were superb and treated Maggie like royalty.  She in turn inspired all who passed through the ward…
A special thanks to BUPA Respite Care in Windsor and all at Wintringham, who helped to looked after Maggie and to all our wonderful friends and colleagues who took the time to visit.

Diaz by T Quertier, 2011

Less than 6 months later, she is fully recovered and is more worried about her chipped tooth than her missing eye! Continue reading

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