Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And then when she was done, she gave her father 41

This Victorian era cabinet photo from Fall River, Mass, is one of the few I've seen with such elaborate hand-tinting. The bright, colorful hand-tinting in reds and greens is in stark contrast to every other element of the photo. The subjects are posed very stiffly, and although this is common, since taking a photo was such a formal affair, these particular subjects have a rigidity that is more pronounced than the typical photo of the era. The father's gaze is blank, almost lifeless. The mother and child have imploring eyes and a twinge of sadness. You wonder if there's a story behind their expressions or if they were just caught at a certain moment that was forever immortalized. Collecting photos is fascinating, because it's always possible that the photo you own is the only remaining tangible proof of that person left on the planet.

Adding some extra interest to this piece is its town of origin being Fall River, Mass. Contemporaneous with this photo was the infamous Lizzie Borden murder scandal.

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