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  • Writer's pictureJohn Graybill


Updated: Feb 9

Aphrodite, circa 1922
Aphrodite, circa 1922. Blue-toned silver gelatin print, one of a series.

When I went through a rediscovery of my great-gramp’s work, I found a Hollywood series of nudes he had done. When I first saw these at a gallery in Santa Fe, I fell in love with them. It’s like, “Oh my goodness! Look at this!” One of those images was titled “Aphrodite.”

Coleen and I went to spend that next Christmas with my parents and I asked my mom and dad if anybody in the family has any of this series. Mom takes me by the hand and leads me into their bedroom. There it is! Hanging on their bathroom wall. Before either of my sisters could claim it, I shouted, “I want that!”

My poor dad, he was 91 at the time and suffering from dementia — trying to talk with him and have a conversation was sometimes difficult, but if you went back far enough, he was pretty sharp and remembered clearly. My dad suddenly piped up and said, “Oh, my mom told me she thought that was one of her sisters." We all laughed and then pondered whether it was Beth or Billy, not really coming to a conclusion. This is how misinformation gets out there! We have since found out that the model was a woman named Rose DelGadio.

An interesting note on "Aphrodite" is that it is said to be two negatives sandwiched together in a dark room. Edward was certainly on the cutting edge of the creative photography movement!

John Graybill

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