Dovima, wearing a hat and dress by Cristobal Balenciaga, in a 1950 photo by Richard Avedon for Vogue
The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.
Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg. Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:
Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.
First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:
…the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.
She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)
I do like you tremendously- for the elasticity of your conscience, for the selfishness which you seldom trouble to hide, and for the shrewd practicality in you which, I fear, you get from some not too remote Irish-peasant ancestor.
Joan Blondell & Bette Davis in Three on a Match, 1932
Madame d’Ora-1932 The russian dancer, La danseuse russe Tania Mirova, in 1932
From F. Percy Smith’s The Birth of a Flower (1910).
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
dir. Stanley Kubrick
272c Golden Fleece Dec-1938 Page 40 Wolves of Kerak 01 by E. Hoffmann Price http://flic.kr/p/bLbu4Z
“I dance to express myself. I dance for my heart, blood, imagination…I do not believe that dancing should tell a story or have a meaning; nor do I feel that a dancer must draw upon his experiences to express fully dances of great joy or great sorrow…”