Please explain how we can improve this archived object.
Thanks for submitting your feedback. Our team will review it as soon as possible, and we appreciate your contribution.
Unidentified Photographer

Oyster Girl & Lightwood Boy

Date ca. 1875-1880
Dimensions Image (size of each image): 3 1/8 x 3 1/8 in. (8 x 7.9 cm)
Paper: 3 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (8 x 15.6 cm)
Mount: 3 7/16 x 6 15/16 in. (8.7 x 17.6 cm)
Print medium Photo-Albumen silver-Stereograph

Like the stereograph of "Sweeps" (424.1990), this staged studio image plays on the exotic and humorous aspects of African American child labor. Here, a boy and girl are engaged in different forms of low-level manual labor, turned to the side as they carry their loads to their destination. The image's title defines the subjects by their tasks-carrying wood and oysters-and their youth consolidates the perception of blacks as well-suited for menial work even as children. By dressing the boy and girl as adults and using skillful composition, the image presents black labor as a source of sentimental and aesthetic contemplation.

Credit line

Gift of Daniel Cowin, 1990

Feedback Accession No. 519.1990