Thanks to photographer Lee Friedlander, who discovered Bellocq's work in the 1960's, we have these transcendent images with which to remember the humanity of the often otherwise anonymous "soiled doves" of the fabled Storyville.
Exhibition overview from museum website
John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873–1949) was an American professional photographer who worked in New Orleans during the early 20th century. Bellocq is remembered for his haunting photographs of the prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans' legalized red light district.
Whether you go or not, Storyville, New Orleans: Being an Authentic, Illustrated Account of the Notorious Red Light District, draws upon interviews and research to investigates New Orleans' experiment with legalized prostitution between 1897 and 1917. Bellocq: Photographs from Storyville, the Red-Light District of New Orleans (1996), includes 52 tritone photos printed in a large format. The text from the original edition--by John Szarjowski, former director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art--is reprinted here, along with a new Introduction by Susan Sontag. this is an expanded and revised edition of the famous book of portraits of prostitutes in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, the inspiration for the Louis Malle film Pretty Baby.