June 4, 2010


Finally, it's Friday.  This has only been a four-day work week because of the Memorial Day holiday, but it has  d r a g g e d  on forever, it seems.  My younger sister arrives in DC tomorrow for her summer internship, and I am looking forward to spending some QT with her.  She spent this spring semester in Scotland, so it will be the first time I've seen her (Skype doesn't count) since Christmas.

Anyway, I've spent the better part of the morning browsing blogs, and Simply Seleta displayed some fun family photos of she and her family jumping on the beach.  I've seen this trend develop on Facebook, of taking a picture just as someone has jumped into the air, but I didn't realize where it actually started.  Thank you, Seleta, for informing me and enabling me to share the work of Philippe Halsman, particularly his JUMP series. 

The following is from the October 2006 edition of Smithsonian Magazine:
And because of Halsman’s sense of play, we have the jump pictures—portraits of the well known, well launched.
This odd idiom was born in 1952, Halsman said, after an arduous session photographing the Ford automobile family to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary. As he relaxed with a drink offered by Mrs. Edsel Ford, the photographer was shocked to hear himself asking one of the grandest of Grosse Pointe's grande dames if she would jump for his camera. "With my high heels?" she asked. But she gave it a try, unshod—after which her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Henry Ford II, wanted to jump too.
For the next six years, Halsman ended his portrait sessions by asking sitters to jump. It is a tribute to his powers of persuasion that Richard Nixon, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Judge Learned Hand (in his mid-80s at the time) and other figures not known for spontaneity could be talked into rising to the challenge of...well, rising to the challenge. He called the resulting pictures his hobby, and in Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, a collection published in 1959, he claimed in the mock-academic text that they were studies in "jumpology."
Below are some of Halsman's photos that I particularly enjoyed.

Audrey Hepburn

Brigitte Bardot

Aldous Huxley

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

ballet on beach

President Richard Nixon

Salvador Dali

Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Grace Kelly

Murray Kempton

Marilyn Monroe

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