Caught Our Eyes: More Brünnhilde the Cat

Who could resist this purrfect profile?

Brünnhilde. Photo copyrighted by Adolph E. Weidhaas, 1936. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51533

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!

Brünnhilde. Photo copyrighted by Adolph E. Weidhaas, 1936. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.83927

Is she perturbed? Patient? Plotting revenge for this costume? We may never know, but the mystery is part of the fun!

Learn More:

Caught Our Eyes: The Ramirez Family Farm

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