Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Two Girls]

Artist:
Unknown (American)
Date:
1851–52
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
Plate (overall): 25.5 x 20.3 cm (10 1/16 x 8 in.) Plate (visible area): 19.1 x 14.2 cm (7 1/2 x 5 9/16 in.) Frame: 36 x 30.5 cm (14 3/16 x 12 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Steven Ames and Constance and Leonard Goodman Gifts, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.176
Not on view
Although the identities of both the maker and the sitters are unknown, the size and lavish presentation of this daguerreotype suggest that the girls were of high social status, and the quality of the daguerreotype indicates an accomplished portrait studio, probably in a major city. While far from a snapshot—the possibility of which was still many decades away—this portrait of two girls (sisters, one assumes) has an air of authenticity and spontaneity of expression and gesture that removes it from the typically stiff, expressionless portraits cranked out by less talented artisans.
Marking: Hallmark on plate, BLC: "Christofle"
[...]; George Whiteley, Atlanta, Georgia, ca. 2006; [Medhurst & Co., Overland Park, Kansas, ca. 2009]; [Charles Schwartz Ltd., New York, 2011]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 60," September 11, 2012–January 13, 2013.

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