Tuesday, March 16, 2010

evelyn mchale

on may 1, 1947, a 23-year-old woman named evelyn mchale lept from the observation deck of the empire state building. "He is much better off without me ... I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody," she wrote on a note, then crossed it out. evelyn landed, 86 floors below, on a parked united nations limousine. a photography student named robert wiles heard the crash and snapped this photo (below) four minutes after her death. here's warhol's silkscreen of the image called Suicide (Fallen Body) that is, in my opinion, far less poignant and beautiful than the original image found below.

for more information, kindly jump to kottke.org. thanks for the tip, erog


Laisla said...

Does beauty exist in death? Should art mimic tragedy? Tough questions for which I have no answers for as yet.


Smith_harry said...

I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody," she wrote on a note, then crossed it out.

Australian Detox

Star Child said...

Hi. So do you know why she crossed it out?

My first thought was that she changed her mind, but if she still jumped...

I think there can be beauty in death. It is part of life.

I think there is beauty in the way someone holds on to their loved one, celebrates them, shares memories of them with those who will never meet them.

Beauty isn't always "safe".

-K- said...

Such a calm expression, hard to imagine what proceeded it.

Susan E. Roden said...

Amazingly Evelyn looks nestled and asleep on top the limo. Bittersweet image.

Madame Lamb said...


sharvey said...

She doesn't look serene. She looks intensely concentrated on determining a cure for the crippling depression and confusion that's clouding her judgement. She looks captured in the middle of that very thought and not serene, but somehow escaped. The brow is intensely focused but it's the expression of the mouth that makes it look as if she's caught by surprise, in mid-thought and perhaps even having lost her train of thought, having been captured suddenly by an escape.

sharvey said...

also, it must be the composition of this photo and perspective it's shot from that contribute to the 'serenity'.

Adgirl said...

Wow! Never seen an image like that before.

Kschenke said...

I realize he might not have been able to do anything to help her, but it disturbs me that the photographer took this picture while she was still dying.

I don't know, it doesn't sit right with me, even if the photograph is beautiful.

ANNiE said...

Wow..I have never seen this before. This one will stick with me for awhile.

the geeky indie said...

just. wow.
a tear just rolled down my cheek.
this is such a beautiful yet tragic image.
but i can't help adoring it.

the way such a fragile looking woman could damage the car.. obviously because of the height at which she fell.. but.. it just looks exaggerated.
don't you think?

& she looks so peaceful.
i think this image is going to stick for quite some time.

zmans castle said...

thats gotta be the silhouette of a backseat passenger.

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