Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Album of 67 Photographic Studies of Self-Defense Maneuvers]

ca. 1895
Gelatin silver print
13.7 x 9.8 cm (5 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.) each
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1997
Accession Number:
Not on view
This unintentionally hilarious manual of choke holds, body slams, kicks, chops, and arm twists was made by hand by an unknown individual. It is a rich example of a late Victorian instructional handbook, produced during a period when photography was tapped by thousands for its pedagogical potential. Each two-picture spread depicts the moment of confrontation between two glowering men followed by the appropriate maneuver, although what they are doing ranges from the bizarre and the obscure to the plainly improbable.
Inscription: Album manufacturer's paper labels affixed to rear endpapers
Jo Tartt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 43," May 9, 2006–August 28, 2006.

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