Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, was the birthplace of jazz. Around 1912 the photographer E.J. Bellocq found a compelling fascination in the women of the district, and the only work to have survived his death were his portraits of these prostitutes. The glass-plate negatives came into the possession of the distinguished American photographer, Lee Friedlander, and his prints from these original plates were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1970. The collection in this book includes a number of previously unpublished photographs, many of which are marked by the patina of their age, with which they are considered to have acquired a heightened and evocative beauty.