Pulp Pix: The Bizarre Case of Photography Noir – American Museum of Photography
Chapter One: “Beautiful Dreamer, Strangle Unto Me”
Picture this: a gorgeous dame asleep in a cheap hotel bed, wearing a black-lace bra, a contented smile, and not a heck of a lot more. Yes, my friends, pretty as a picture — and that’s why she’s the center of attraction here. After World War II, and before Hugh Hefner came up with Playboy, pulp magazines offered guys a rare chance to see racy pictures of young ladies — often in a state of undress, and usually in a very vulnerable position.
There are more clues to the story here, Sherlock. If you hunt around, you’ll find four places where you can click on the photo to get a better look at the grim details. But take a hint — if you’ve got your pop-up blocker on, Buster, you might end up as clueless as Sleeping Beauty, here.
And just one more thing: I made up the title for this provocative little number. There’s nothing written on the front or the back of this photograph. No signature, no studio stamp, nothing. That would make it too doggone easy, wouldn’t it? But we’re not here for easy… we’re here for sleazy.
Mystery photographs without a name. Maker unknown. Date unknown. Title unknown. It’s enough to drive a poor online curator — I mean “hard-boiled detective” — to drink.
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