Friday, 7 February 2014

'Chorine Recumbent' or 'Crossed Legs'? Who was Charles Newland?

My birthday present in 1956 was popular with my school classmates. It was the British Journal Photographic Almanac for the year and my mother wrote my name in the front flyleaf. It was my second book on photography. The popularity was due not to the information on photography it contained but to the final photograph in the 'Pictorial Supplement'. That photograph (Number 32) was by Charles Newland (England) and was titled "Chorine Recumbent". A footnote stated that it was from the London Salon of Photography, 1955. 'Chorine', incidentally was not the girl's name but is a term for a chorus girl. We did not know that and thought it must have been her name. But 'Chorine' was enough to set the young hormones aflutter in Form 3A.

Clearly the chorine is still able to bring about the same effect in older boys in 2014. I was surprised to see her appear in Servatius's blog 'Antique and Classic Photographic Images'* on 30 October 2013. I was even more surprised when trying to find out who Charles Newland was that this image has, in terms of old photographs, gone viral. The original entry has been re-blogged (in some cases to sites displaying the more exotic tastes of their compilers) numerous times in the past three months and appears on at least three Pinterest boards.

However, the original post has a different title, 'Crossed Legs' 1950s and is shown in an untoned black-and-white. So I don't know where Servatius scanned the photograph from. Was it also published in the catalogue of the London Salon in 1955 under that different title? I have not been able to find a copy.

In BJPA 'Chorine Recumbent' appeared in that sepia gravure that marked the Almanac's style—outdated even in the mid-1950s. I have tried to get the scan as close to the original tonation as I can. Here she is:

You can see at the bottom of the photograph (not the caption) 'Charles Newland ARPS'. I have been completely unable to find any information on Charles Newland. Does anybody know who he was and what else he did?