A discourse in photography, media and culture
posted by Joe V at 6:08 PM
Wonderful post. I am so sorry to hear that you had such a short time with your mother. Thankfully, you have photographs of her that you can hold in your hands.
I had a similar experience to yours of realizing "the prints I hold in my hands were held in her hands" with our family carte de visites from the middle of the nineteenth-century. The images depict my great great grandmother as a young woman during the civil war and immediately afterward as well as her husband and other family members. I stared long into her eyes wondering what her world was like. Only through the physical print can I make this kind of solid connection with my ancestors, holding in my hand the photographic print they held in their hand, as they might have held an old letter, and in my case, since my great-grand uncle was as gallery photographer, I can hold the print he made, from a glass negative he washed with collodion silver and then printed using a sun frame. If it were a digital image file over a hundred years old I could not say that my grandmother, my great grandfather, my great great grandmother and grandfather had held it, placed it in their albums, and handed down. I know where it was when my great grandfather stored them in the pages of a book to keep them safe from rambunctious grandchildren, I surmise whose album it came from as the images collected into my great grandmother's hands from those 19th century albums as family passed away. This experience prompted me to create my first website, city gallery, devoted to encouraging interpretation and preservation of old family images.A photo-ceramic image can last five hundred years it is estimated and perhaps survive indefinitely.
Have a comment? I'll post your comment after I read it.~Joe
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