Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


The High and Ho of Weegee Bernard Bailey High Magazine and Ho Magazine from Periodical House Publish Weegee's Poison Portraits

I am not a Weegee scholar, but I am a fan, and also recognize the importance of his work.  I also know the magazine High and Ho are today pretty scarce, as editor and art director Bernard Bailey's goofy idea of putting TWO narrow magazines on the top shelf in the place of one didn't work out.  Note the prices.  I don't think he had market research in the late 1950s which indicated a fellow was inclined to pay 35 cents for HO! (The LONG magazine) and 25 cents for HIGH (the TALL magazine) either.  So few today have seen them.  Each issue was 100 skinny pages and come from 1957 and 1958.  The Golden Age of smutty glamor.

Bailey did have the good taste to either hire, or purchase, a considerable amount of Weegee's more experimental work.  Distortions and treatments.   They are titled "Poison Portraits" and Weegee's Weirdies" and they are that..

I have no idea if the copyright on High and Ho is abandoned or has been assumed by the International Center of Photography, where you can find lots of material on the photographer.  I AM sure they own the images.  The Weegee Archive was bequeathed to ICP in 1993 by Wilma Wilcox, Weegee’s long-term partner, and it is a treasure.  Wikipedia tells the story, and as you can see the institution has exhibited some, if not all, the images here:

"In 1980 Weegee's widow, Wilma Wilcox, Sidney Kaplan, Aaron Rose and Larry Silver formed The Weegee Portfolio Incorporated to create an exclusive collection of photographic prints made from Weegee’s original negatives.  As a bequest, Wilma Wilcox donated the entire Weegee archive - 16,000 photographs and 7,000 negatives to the International Center of Photography in New York. This 1993 gift became the source for several exhibitions and books include "Weegee's World" edited Miles Barth (1997) and "Unknown Weegee" edited by Cynthia Young (2006). The first and largest exhibition was the 329-image "Weegee's World: Life, Death and the Human Drama," brought forth in 1997. It was followed in 2002 by "Weegee's Trick Photography," a show of distorted or otherwise caricatured images, and four years later by "Unknown Weegee," a survey that emphasized his more benign, post-tabloid photographs. In 2012 ICP opened another Weegee exhibition titled, "Murder is my Business". Also in 2012, exhibition called "Weegee: The Naked City" opened at Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow"

Bailey's narrow magazines are bound well and not easily mashed onto my scanner…but let's take a look at some obscurities by Arthur Felig.  Weegee's Weirdies is listed in the bibliography of his works HERE, but Weegee's Poison Portraits seems not to be, so here you go.

Bernard Bailey, editor and art director of High and Ho is a bit more obscure, but like many folks working in the golden age of smut, came from the comic book environment.  I'll say it again...Kefauver was right.  He was an artist who worked for both DC comics and Atlas, which eventually became Marvel.  His bio is HERE.

Not much has been published about his connection with High and Ho.  Interestingly, High turned into a normal sized magazine after the tall experiment, but it didn't last much longer.  Both magazines are chock-full of now prominent artists, photographers and models.  Bernard had good taste, if not business sense.

Tall and Long issues of High 1957 and Ho 1958
Photography Books by the author include The Birth of Rock and Roll, Take Me to the Water and In Situ American Folk Art in Place.

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly this magazine format was enormously successful in the late 1960s and 1970s in the Netherlands with various sex magazines.
    Magazines like the Dutch 'Candy' and imitators like 'Sex 69', 'Super Sex Club', 'Katja', 'Porno Rama', 'Cocky', 'Sexos' and several others were all published in this format in the Netherlands and in France and Belgium.
    The idea of the high and narrow format was advertised to make it easier to slip inside a man's inside vest pocket for easy concealment.
    I have numerous copies of such mags and scans of covers.