Friday, April 27, 2012

More on the 1876 Photo Fraud.
Part of an Anthropology Gallery?

The caption reads "Ashkenazi
(German Jews)." Were they
really actors? (1876)
The original picture of "Polish Jews" (Courtesy
of the Palestine Exploration Fund)
The 19th century photographers in the Middle East loved to take portraits of the local population in their native surroundings and native costumes. 

Hundreds of photos in the Library of Congress collection show Jewish men and women (and here), Arab men and women,  the Maronite patriarch, Bedouins, Samaritans, Armenian monksDruse, etc. in their native and ritual clothing.

A group portrait of "real" Jews (1900)
 Many "candid" photographs of the ultra-Orthodox Jews show them attempting to hide their faces, in some cases because it was the Sabbath.  Perhaps that is why this 1876 photo by the Palestine Exploration Fund employed actors dresses as ultra-Orthodox Jews. [At least one looks authentic, no?]

We thank our reader "Yoni" for submitting the following comment, adding to his startling revelation that the photo of the "Ashkenazi Jews" was fake.


The photo "Ashkeanzi Jews" was taken by Sergeant Henry Phillips, R.E, the photographer of the Palestine Exploration Fund’s expedition led by explorer Lieutenant Charles Warren R.E.

There are other versions of this picture with the "actors" dressed differently and in different locations, such as the photo published in Warren's "Underground Jerusalem."


Armenian priests or are they actors?
Are they the same people in the
"Ashkenazi picture?" (Courtesy of
the Palestinian Exploration Fund

Twain stayed at the same
hotel in Jerusalem in 1867
As for the hotels; The Mediterranean hotel had three different locations (see Gibson and Chapman 1995). Between 1849-1866 it was located at the south eastern side of the Hezekiah pool, Between 1866-1870 it moved to El-Wad street (currently known as Sharon House or Beit Witenberg) and in 1870- 1885 it moved towards the Jaffa Gate and occupied the same building as the Petra Hotel today. Therefore, the Ashkenazi Jews photo was taken in the second location in 1867, when the Warren expedition was based there.

The full story will be available with the publication of the Book.

As Yoni pointed out, Mark Twain and his colleagues stayed at the same Mediterranean Hotel in the Old City of Jerusalem as the Palestine Exploration Fund's explorers. 

A question for Yoni: Were the actors' pictures taken in 1876, as per the Library of Congress caption, or in 1867 when Warren undertook his expedition to Jerusalem?  Both Twain and Warren may have been at the same Mediterranean Hotel at the same time.  Click here to see possible pictures of Twain's colleagues in Jerusalem.

An Yoni's response:  The Original photo was taken in 1867 by Sargent Howard Philips and the Library of Congress date mentioned is in reference to the publication of Warren's "Underground Jerusalem in 1876. as in the bibliography:

Illus. in: Underground Jerusalem: an account / Charles Warren. London : Richard Bentley and Son, publishers in Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen, 1876, oppos. p. 359.

It does seem that the photographer did not have people of faith to represent the diversity of Jewish, and Christian Orthodox in the city and therefore used actors /extras, and dressed them in the different costumes. I would not call this a "Fraud" but rather creative posing to tell the story.

4 comments:

  1. Before I realized that was the photo you were talking about, I thought they didn't look like Jews.

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  2. On the "Jews´" photo as well as on the "Armenians´", some of the beards look fake, i.e. pasted or hung on.

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  3. The Original photo was taken in 1867 by Sargent Howard Philips and the Library of Congress date menssioned is in reffernace to the publication of Warrens "Underground Jerusalem in 1876. as in the bibliography:

    Illus. in: Underground Jerusalem: an account / Charles Warren. London : Richard Bentley and Son, publishers in Ordinary to her Majesty the Queen, 1876, oppos. p. 359.

    It does seem that the photographer did not have people of faith to represent the diversity of Jewish, and Christian Orthodox in the city and therefore used actors / extras, and dressed them in the different costumes. I would not call this a "Fraud" but rather creative posing to tell the story.
    I do have another of the series and would share it if you send me your mail.
    Cheers
    Yoni

    As for the pictures of tourist in Jerusalem an the possible picture of Twain's wife Olivia; There does seem to be resemblance but I will have to get back to you on that since the Photographer of MT trip on the "Quaker City" cruse to the Holy land did take a few pictures but only one with MT - on board the ship. In any case that could be a nice find.

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  4. Yoni,

    You are mistaken. These are my direct Ashkenazi relatives.

    Danbencanan

    ReplyDelete