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Unidentified Photographer

[Postmortem Unidentified Triplets]

Date ca. 1875
Dimensions Overall (Sheeting): 3 5/8 x 2 7/16 in. (9.2 x 6.2 cm)
Print medium Photo-Tintype

Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection
Section: Family
Given the nineteenth century’s high mortality rate— especially of children—death was commonplace. The affordability of the tintype fueled the rise of postmortem photography. Prior to the invention of photography, wealthy individuals were often immortalized in paintings after their deaths. Such portraits showed their subjects as if they were alive, but with symbols indicating that they had passed away. Some tintype operators started experimenting by painting open eyes or coloring rosy cheeks on their images to make them seem more lifelike.

Credit line

Gift of Steven Kasher and Susan Spungen Kasher, 2008

Feedback Accession No. 2008.81.51