A portrait of George “Pop” Floppy was shot by ansel Adams in 1965, but it took more than a decade to become a bona fide landmark in the history of pet photography.
Floppy’s image, first published in Esquire in 1965 and subsequently reprinted in Harper’s in 2006, has been the subject of a fascinating and often misunderstood history.
Today, the image is considered the pinnacle of pet photos.
And yet, while the image has become an icon for both photographers and collectors, it has never been an object of true love.
Adams and his wife, Barbara, never got along.
Barbara Floppy famously told Esquire that her husband, whom she described as “a very sensitive, kind, affectionate person,” had “a terrible tendency to cry when he felt upset,” and that she would be “shocked and appalled” if she saw him “trying to hold onto a cat that was dying.”
She went on to explain that when Floppy told her that he would be sad when he died, she told him that “he never cries,” and suggested that he should “make it a point to say, ‘Please don’t cry,’ because crying is very bad.”
The couple’s relationship was, of course, contentious.
Barbara, who died in 2012, said in a 2013 interview with Time that “when she went to work for him, I think he did that because she was a woman.
He thought she would want a man in her life.”
When Floppy died, Barbara Flopys children, James and Nancy, began to have their own feelings about their father’s death.
James told the New York Times that the last time he saw Floppy in person was when he attended the funeral of his brother-in-law, Frank Floppy.
The two were “still mourning him” at the time, James told Time.
And when James was asked if Floppy had ever told him, “You’re not George Flppy,” he said no.
But when Nancy was asked about their mother’s death, she responded that “Pop had a very, very, kind heart.”
She also said that the death of her father “was a big deal for us” and that Pop was “the best of us.”
“He would cry,” Nancy Floppy wrote in her memoir, “A Place in the Sun.”
“Pop would cry when I cried.
He would cry and cry and weep and cry.
But he never cried when I was crying.”
Pop Floppy with his wife Barbara in 1957.
His wife died in 1966.
Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images Floppy is survived by his wife of 41 years, Barbara; daughters Jennifer and Ashley; and son Jack, who lives in Arizona.
The Floppy family had a long history of disputes.
Barbara flopys sister, Alice, wrote in an essay published in the March 2017 issue of Esquire, “George’s family was bitter and bitter.
They were always complaining, constantly and viciously, that he didn’t like what he was doing.
He had a tendency to yell, but that was because he was always trying to be the better man.”
The family’s feuding culminated in a dispute over the location of a pet cemetery.
Barbara claimed that she was paid to dig up the bodies of Floppy children and relatives, and she claimed that the cemetery had been “set up to be a dumping ground for all the dead pets, but I did not do it.”
The dispute also sparked a long-running feud over the size of the pet cemetery, which many believed was too large.
Barbara insisted that the site of the cemetery was too small, even though it was in fact about a quarter of a mile from the home of the Floppy siblings.
And, she continued, “When Pop was alive, we never had any pets.
We never had pets.
Pop always liked dogs, and I never had a dog.”
Barbara Floopys children.
Photo by: GettyImages/GettyImages In a 2008 Vanity Fair article, the writer, author and pet photographer Sarah Silverman described Floppy as “the most charming man I have ever met.”
She continued, “[Floppy] would walk around his neighborhood in his bathing suit and say, Hey, how are you doing?
It was just the way he was.”
Floppy has been memorialized in dozens of different ways.
A plaque dedicated to him is located at the entrance to his neighborhood on Washington Street in Brooklyn.
There is also a statue of him in New York City, in the City Hall Plaza in Times Square, in Washington Square Park, in Central Park, and at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Flop’s image has been featured in more than 80 different national publications, and he has been recognized as an American icon by the National Association of Portrait Horses.
He was inducted into the American Art Museum’s National Portraits