Shadow and Light

Posted in Performances

It must have been the glass “ambrotype” of the early 19th century that caused photographs to be referred to the “mirror with a memory”. Even today they strike the viewer as a mysterious capture of someone’s essence echoing from long ago. The 19th was a century of photography’s promise and peril as some emulsions were downright dangerous. View almost a hundred years of photography, still available to hold in your hand, and all absolutely safe.

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The couple in this tintype wanted it known that they were both literate and refined. That a lock of baby’s (?) hair was framed with it is telling in the light of the fact that their faces do not have the careworn expressions of those who have lost a child. The gentleman’s “do” prompts the eternal question “How can any animal that scrapes its hair in some places, while encouraging it to grow in others, take itself so seriously?”

Tintype photograph with pencil notation 
Taken by “A.H.P. 1888” 

From:
Theatre of Memory program: Shadows and Light