1930s Society Women Dressed as Mythological Figures


Pioneering portraitist (and early feminist) Yevonde Cumbers Middleton AKA Madame Yevonde inspired the world with her colorful, costumed photographs of 1930s society ladies dressed as classic, mythological figures. Apparently the photog session for the Goddess series took place at a fancy pants theme party, where guests like Lady Anne Rhys — daughter of the fifth Duke of Wellington and former girlfriend of the Prince of Wales (before he got together with Wallice Simpson) — attended. Yevonde would later go on to create similar images revolving around the zodiac and calendar months, but it was her often humorous and always beautiful images of women dressed as nymphs and goddesses that first won people over. Color photography was not terribly popular during her time, but her experimentation with the medium led to critical acclaim. Get mythological past the break.

Madame Yevonde, The Honorable Mrs Bryan Guinness as Venus. [Spotted via The Guardian]

Madame Yevonde, Mrs Edward Mayer as Medusa

Madame Yevonde, Mrs Anthony Eden as Clio, the Muse of History

Madame Yevonde, Nadine, Countess of Shrewsbury as Ariadne

Madame Yevonde, Lady Milbanke as Penthelisa, Queen of the Amazons

Madame Yevonde, Mrs Charles Sweeny (Margaret, Duchess of Argyll) as Helen of Troy

Madame Yevonde, Lady Michael Balcon as Minerva

Madame Yevonde, Lady Bridgett Poulett as Arethusa

Madame Yevonde, Eileen Hunter (Mrs Ward Jackson) as Dido

Madame Yevonde, Lady Anne Rhys poses as the goddess Flora

Madame Yevonde, Baroness Gagern as Europa

Madame Yevonde, Dorothy, Duchess of Welington as Hecate

Madame Yevonde, Mrs Richard Hart-Davis as Ariel