E(rnest) J(ames) Bellocq
(b New Orleans, LA, 15 March 1873;
d New Orleans, 1949).
American photographer. He is known
to have worked as a commercial photographer in New Orleans from 1895
to 1940 and to have photographed for local shipbuilders and in the
Chinese sector of New Orleans, although none of this work apparently
survives. His photography is known only through prints made by Lee
Friedlander from the 89 gelatin dry plate negatives found after
Bellocq’s death. These negatives date from c. 1912 and are
sympathetic portraits of prostitutes of New Orleans and interior
views of their workplaces. Known as the Storyville Portraits, 34
were shown by MOMA, New York, in a travelling exhibition in 1970–71.
Bellocq’s life was the subject of Pretty Baby (1978), a film by