16 August 2011

Slightly to the Left, Eyes Right

Photo Description: 
"Teresa Truffi, full length portrait of a woman,
slightly to the left, eyes right, 
standing, in theatrical costume,
holding a small bottle."
(Daguerreotypes Collection)

One of the key sets in the Summer Wizarding Event was the Headmaster's Office. We dressed it to look both normal and odd, the idea being that the occupant happened to be a wizard but was also a person of eclectic interests. One small desk prop was a hinged pair of brass frames. I was asked to locate possible images for it. The requester said the images needed to be "similar but different' and a little off kilter. Something that could be printed in sepia-toned ink. So off I went on an Internet hunt! Here's some of what I came up with.

Searching Google Images using the phrase old portraits photography brought a wide range of photos. Lots of baby pics, some rather buxom and forward ladies, and a few good options for our game.

The Daguerreotypes Collection from the Prints and Photographs Online Collection at the Library of Congress had some wonderful personalities, fey and intriguing. It is impossible not to wonder about these people; what they were like, how they sounded when they spoke, what they thought funny, what made them sad. Here are a few images from the LoC site:

Edwin Forest

Unidentified Woman in White Shawl

Junius Booth

Unidentified Man and Woman with Child

Unidentified Woman Sewing

The following image is from a collection of daguerreotypes held by the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. The daguerrean (as he titled himself) was Thomas Easterly. This portrait is of more singular interest given its poignant beauty and Easterly's note on the back: "Equal'd by few." The woman is (Anna) Miriam Bailey, the woman Easterly married a year later. 

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