Press photo Balinese flower offering

Press photo of a flower offering at a Balinese temple, taken in 1928 by an Underwood & Underwood photographer.

This old press photo shows a flower offering (canang sari) at a Balinese temple. The picture was taken in 1928 by an Underwood & Underwood photographer for the series: ‘How they live and love and die at the other side of the world.’

The description on the back reads:

Morning prayer in Bali, Dutch East Indies.
Apr. 22 – 1928

Photo shows: A strange custom in a far-away land. A priestess (left) receiving floral offerings and prayers of a native woman of the island of Bali in the Dutch East Indies.

Underwood & Underwood
Underwood & Underwood was founded in 1882 by two brothers Elmer and Bert Underwood. Starting out as a stereoscopic photograph sales company located in Kansas in the United States, they quickly became the worldwide leader of stereographic images production and sales.

By 1901, Underwood & Underwood was publishing 25,000 stereographs a day. The firm also sold boxed sets, with specific themes, such as education and religion, and travel sets depicting popular tourist areas of the world. An army of freelance photographers were deployed to take pictures all over the world.

By the start of the twentieth century, Underwood & Underwood ventured into the growing domain that would later be called photojournalism. Along with news images for newspapers and magazines the company began collecting and taking photographs intended for use in advertisements, and eventually evolved into one of the earliest international photo agencies. Around 1904 they set up a sales agency that would dominate the news photo field for the next 30 years. The company ceased business in the 1940s.

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