n.p. 1910. Very Good. Item #25201
N.p.: ca. 1910, though photographs developed ca. 1950. Oblong octavo (15x21cm.); hand-made photo album of contemporary ribbon-bound linen boards; ll. of stiff card stock to which are mounted twenty-four (24) cyanotype photographs measuring ca. 9.5x12cm, occasionally captioned with ballpoint pen. Boards a bit bowed, minor soil to binding and interior, otherwise Very Good, photographs in fine condition.
Sparsely-captioned family album of cyanotypes, an experimental photography process popular between 1885 and 1910 and striking for the brilliant blue hues of the images. No dates or locations are provided, though the images mostly capture a young white girl named Virgie Witt and her brother John, as well as the family's Black cook "Aunt Liza." Young Virgie appears in four of the images while John and Aunt Liza are given equal billing at three images. Perhaps tellingly, the great-grand-mother in her austere black garb appears just once. The family appears to have resided in a wood and stone farmhouse on a river, the children captured in shots while churning butter, playing with their many animals (dogs, cats, horses, sheep and a donkey), and fishing or watering a herd of cows on the river.
The three portraits of Aunt Liza show her in serious conversation with young Virgie; hanging laundry to dry on a clothesline in the yard; and wiping down a bowl while standing beside a wooden tub on the lawn. Though the caption describes her simply as the "cook," her duties appear to have extended far beyond that title.
Based on the quality of the prints, the album, and the captions, these photographs presumably developed at a much later date than when the photographs were first taken, possibly a couple generations later.