Pandora by Joan Craven

A naked Pamela Green opening a box
Pamela Green as Pandora by Joan Craven

This picture is a favourite of mine. Pamela Green as Pandora, as photographed by Joan Craven. This was a freelance job while Pamela was working at the London Casino in Old Compton Street. Pamela Green met Joan Craven when she was sent by her agent to Kinocrat House, 85, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 to work for the photographer Walter Bird. Joan Craven shared studios with Walter. Pamela also posed as Circe, the goddess of magic, for Joan — a picture I’ve not yet come across.

Bembrose Gravure Reproduction in Derby made a framed print of the image in the 1950s. The label that came with it said the following:

Most people are familiar with the phrase .`Pandora’s box” and realise, vaguely what it implies, but it is perhaps as well that the legend behind it is not so widely known!

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman that lived fashioned out of clay at the behest of Zeus, who wished to be revenged on Prometheus for a trick he had played on him. When the woman received life the gods bestowed upon her every possible gift (whence her name. Pandora), and she was given a box by Zeus. This box was opened by her imprudent husband, Epimetheus, and from it there issued all the evils the world has ever known. Only hope remained in the bottom to be the solace of mankind. A sad reflection on the origin of woman and her influence on the world!

Pandora in our picture has been aptly named, for it is evident that she has been endowed with many of the gifts of the gods. She has been fashioned in a goodly mould, and her classical beauty and firm curves remind one of a piece of priceless Greek statuary. We cannot believe, however, that site possesses any influence for evil and her box contains things of beauty, not pests to plague the world.

Joan Craven is one of London’s leading figure photographers, and she has the valuable gift of presenting her nude studies with artistry and good taste while yet accentuating the beauties of the ideal female form. Pandora is shown against a simple background, draped sufficiently to give it an interesting texture, which throws her into relief and displays her perfect proportions. The line of the neck and shoulders is carried forward into the arm, while the box and necklace link up the figure, giving the study a rhythmic and flowing line.

For more about Joan read my earlier post Joan Craven (1897-1979)

Shona Craven has started a website dedicated to her great aunt Joan Craven. She is trying to piece together the details of Joan’s life. If you can have any information to share please get in touch with Shona at


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One thought on “Pandora by Joan Craven

  1. Thanks for this delightful picture of the young “P G” Forever “the most beautiful woman in the world !!!!!.

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