Who could resist this purrfect profile?
This unassuming – and apparently quite tolerant – tabby cat appears in an exhibit now at the Library of Congress: Not an Ostrich: & Other Images from America’s Library. The exhibit spans the history of photography from 1839 to modern times, as found in the Library’s collections.
In this 1936 photo, the cat, complete with winged helmet and breastplate armor, is costumed as the legendary Brünnhilde. Whether her depiction is drawn from Wagner’s opera Der Ring des Nibelungen or from earlier Norse mythology or Germanic legend, we don’t know, but we do know she has become one of the most-loved faces of the exhibit.
Reference Specialist Jan Grenci of the Prints & Photographs Division thought perhaps everyone would enjoy seeing the other photo of Brünnhilde in our collections and recently had it scanned and added to our online catalog. So, enjoy yet another view of the photogenic cat!
Is she perturbed? Patient? Plotting revenge for this costume? We may never know, but the mystery is part of the fun!
- Explore the online version of the exhibit Not an Ostrich:& Other Images from America’s Library and view the over 400 photos included in the exhibit in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
- Read previous Picture This blog posts about the history of this exhibit.
- Enjoy more images of cats selected from the collections, including Brünnhilde, in the Flickr album, Purrfect Cats.