Men couple(s)

The dance at the closing of Lorea market. Detail. 1909.



Ray Batchelor writes (15 01 2020):

I urge you to enlarge this high quality image and look at it very carefully. It is a detail taken from this larger photograph, “El baile de clausura” which appeared in the popular Buenos Aires magazine Caras y Caretas (“Faces & Masks) in 1909.

It is captioned “El baile de clausura” and the story that accompanies it is one of the men dancing to celebrate the last day of the market, before it was to be demolished to make way for the Plaza Congresso

Demolición del Mercado Lorea1910

Look again at the high quality image: the men – the market traders plus one man whose status warranted a suit, rather than an apron – are staring intently at the camera. Some pose proudly in tango couple poses – three couples at the front, with two more standing behind them. In the background, a boy is sticking out his tongue and threatening to throw something at the cameraman.

Actually the Mercado de la Plata, but with a similar style of building.

Those who stood still are recorded with crisp accuracy. At each end of the photo in the magazine, boys have failed to stand still and have become untidy blurs as a consequence. No wonder they are often edited out and it is this “detail” with fewer blurs which is endlessly reproduced.

I have taken the detail and the information about it from a 1999 exhibition catalogue:

Buenos Aires 1910: Memoria del Porvenir (Buenos Aires 1910: Memories of the World to Come).

Edición: Margarita Gutman

Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Consejo del Plan Urbano Ambiental
Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Buenos Aires

Instituto Internacional de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo, IIED – América Latina

The image is labelled in Spanish and in English: “Camera crew of Caras y Caretas. The dance of the closing of Lorea market. Detail. 1909. (Cat. no 74)”

The image is usuall misidentified. In 2011, at the Academia Nacional del Tango in Buenos Aires, a label in front of this image read: ‘Baile popular en el Abasto (c1910)’. They look like market traders. Abasto is Buenos Aires most famous market, therefore… This is the information which routinely accompanies this image online but it is wrong.

I have not found the original from Archivo General de la Nación, but bizarrely, the image is posted on the Archivo General de la Nación Facebook page with this caption:

Cierre del Mercado Lorea en el barrio de Once. El baile de clausura, 1898.
Documento Fotográfico. Inventario 12379.

What do you believe the copyright status of this image to be?

Ray Batchelor believes: “Copyright rests with the Archivo General de la Nación”

The image url: