We spent time this week preparing some postcards for our upcoming exhibit of children's portraits from the 19th and early 20th century. We're also finalizing our plans for the dates of the show and a reception, so check back soon for that.
What's most striking about looking at these prints, aside from the fact that they were produced by early photography's best-known artists, is the character in the faces of the children pictured. Here's the Portrait of Paul Nadar, Enfant, an 1865 collotype from Felix Nadar.
Some pictures have a bit of legend handed down through the decades. This 1910 gelatin silver print is by Jessie Tarbox Beals and is called Physically Defective Children, an amusing title once you realize that the youngsters' "defect" was that they had tonsilitis!
Other legends are more serious. I love this Julia Margaret Cameron albumin print of The Clogstoun Sisters, from around 1868. But I can't stop thinking about how one of the sisters died a few years after the photograph was taken.
Another Cameron albumin print, from 1872, has got to be my favorite. Portrait of Florence Fisher just returns my gaze every time, and reminds me of the portraits I take of my own girls.