A new photo from the Powerhouse Museum every day
Shaven heads were common. In Manchu times the front of the head was shaved and the hair on the back of the head was grown into a queue. When queues disappeared after the revolution of 1911, men found it comfortable and convenient to have the whole head shaved.
Hedda Morrison, A photographer in Old Peking, Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 120
This photograph from the Hedda Morrison collection shows an itinerant barber at work, shaving the head of one of his clients, in a park. The client is holding a plate of hair shavings and the hairdresser’s travelling wash stand is in the right foreground. Visible in the background towards the left is another barber at work. The photograph is one of a large number documenting street life and itinerant workers in Peking from 1933-1946, when Hedda Morrison was resident there.
Photographer Hedda Morrison, (1908-1991), was born Hedda Hammer in Stuttgart, Germany. She acquired her first camera, a Box Brownie, at the age of 11. In 1931, after completing studies at the State Institute for Photography in Munich and working in the studio of photographer Adolf Lazi (1884-1955), she answered an advertisement in a photography journal for a job in Peking.
In Peking Morrison managed Hartung’s photographic studio from 1933-1938. After her contract expired she continued to work freelance from a small darkroom in her home in Nanchang Street. The young photographer travelled around the city, usually by bicycle, often photographing its inhabitants.
Hedda Morrison arrived in Hong Kong on 21 September 1946 by ship from Tianjin, China. She had travelled there with her husband, Alastair Morrison, who was serving as an officer in the British army. They departed for England in March, 1947. This photograph is one of 555 that Hedda Morrison took whilst in Hong Kong.
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by Hedda Morrison
Powerhouse Museum Collection: