And why are there pictures of her, in some cases with her breasts exposed, and her china in the archives of the Library of Congress?
I wish the pictures were bigger than thumbnail. It’s so hard to see them this small.
I haven’t found anything about Miss Ormond yet but it seems that photographer Arnold Genthe had a fondness for Chinese porcelain.
Arnold Genthe, along with most everyone else in San Francisco in April 1906, lost all his stuff in the earthquake and ensuing conflagration. His report of the events of those April days is fascinating.
In 1911 Genthe relocated to New York where he continued in the thick of a fast but well-heeled crowd of artists and actors and dancers and their benefactors.
What a wonderful time it was during the first decades of the 20th Century for the artistic, monied circles in which Genthe made his way.
Hold on there. Could this be Genthe’s Maria?
“On March 29, 1918, Sargent’s niece Rose Marie, daughter of Mrs. [Violet] Ormond and widow of Robert Andre’ Michel who had fallen while fighting on October 13, 1914 was killed in Paris. She was attending a Good Friday service in the church of St. Gervais when a German shell struck the building, killing seventy people, among whom was Madame Michel. She was a person of singular loveliness and charm, and had figured in Sargent’s works, notably in Chashmere, The Pink Dress and the Brook .. .. She had traveled with him on some of his sketching tours, and her youth and high spirits and the beauty of her character had won his devotion. Her death made a deep impression on him.” (Charteris, P210)
By 1918 Rose-Marie Ormond Michel would have been approximately 28 years old. John, of course, had never married and was childless. He must have been drawn to her like a doting father for he was very close to all his family and I think Rose-Marie was his favorite model. The loss he felt must have been no less than the loss of a parent.
Why yes, in fact they were! Sargent and Genthe ran in the same social circle, dining together at the home of Rita Lydig, along with such luminaries of the day as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanore Duse and Isadora Duncan, and entertained by Caruso, Emma Eames and Toscanini. Genthe was acquainted with Caruso in San Francisco, the two having breakfasted together the morning of the earthquake in 1906.
I still don’t know who Maria Ormond was, what she had done in her 28 years, but she looks to have had a pretty good time, including but not limited to possessing a fine set of china.
And who doesn’t love autochromes?