E.J. Bellocq Storyville Portraits: Prostitutes Of 1912 New Orleans
IN 1912, John Ernest Joseph Bellocq took these photographs of prostitutes in Storyville, New Orleans. Published posthumously, they became the E.J. Bellocq Storyville Portraits.
If you didn’t know these women were prostitutes, could you tell? No. Of course you couldn’t. They are anyone. They could be showgirls, nursers, teachers, doctors, midwives and more. Maybe once upon a time, some were. Or maybe some of them wanted to be prostitutes. One thing is certain: the women are not being defined by their job. They are not presented as victims for moralists or social comments for a prurient viewer. Bellocq’s photographs capture the person. His sensitive touch allows them to be themselves.