A Llama About Town

A Llama in Times Square (1957)

You don’t usually see many llamas cruising around NYC; not even when the circus is in town. However, during its glory days of photojournalism, Life magazine oftentimes made the seldom seen a thing often seen.

Inge Morath’s A Llama in Times Square first appeared in the December 2, 1957 issue of LIFE magazine. The one-page story formed part of its humorous Animals section and was entitled “High-paid llama in big city.” Showcasing various types of animals (the four-legged type, that is) living at home in a Manhattan brownstone, it was one of the magazine’s most popular articles.

The story in LIFE featured three photographs by Morath, including a cropped close-up of Linda the Llama. Curiously, the caption accompanying the closeup describes the llama as ogling from the window of a taxi on her way to make a television appearance. In fact, she was in the back seat of her trainer’s car, and, as Morath explains, on her way home from the studio when the picture was taken. Morath’s full caption reads, “Linda, the Lama (sic) rides home via Broadway. She is just coming home from a television show in New York’s A.B.C. studios and now takes a relaxed and long-necked look at the lights of one of the world’s most famous streets.”

You have to love this city…if only for its ever-changing, always photogenic, menagerie; it’s the greatest show on earth.

Source: Inge Morath (includes essays/ full article and photos)