Posted by: mahoganycloud | October 18, 2012

The Ghost of the Mother

Image cite

Here is a tintype photograph of an infant and the “ghost of death” shadowing  it. I mean–you can interpret this picture in that way due to the fact that infant/child mortality was high due to birth defects, or exposure to an environment (water and food) that was contaminated from poor sanitary conditions. But another interpretation of the “hidden mother” is simply there is a mother in the picture, hidden under some sheet, trying to avoid appearing conspicuous in a picture with the child as the main focus. But because the photographic technology during that time was not as advance, and the mother was there to hold the child in place for the time it took to get the picture done. Take a look at the blurred right hand of the child due to movement; we can tell that this child could not sit still. The mother hold’s the child down so that a photo can be taken, which will memorialize the likeness of the child that may not live past childhood.

About these ads

Responses

  1. We will be looking at these ghost mother photographs later in the semester and juxtaposing them with representations of mothers in Victorian advertising and in the experimental photography of Julia Margaret Cameron. Glad you posted this! These photographs are wacky and eerie but also fascinating.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers

%d bloggers like this: