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Unidentified Photographer

[Unidentified Invalid Girl with Woman and Cloaked Attendant]

Date ca. 1865
Dimensions Image: 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. (8.9 x 6.4 cm)
Print medium Photo-Tintype

Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection
Section: Family
Because of the tintype’s long exposure time (fifteen to thirty seconds, depending on lighting conditions), “hidden mothers” were often employed to help children stay still. These nannies, nurses, or photographer’s assistants were draped with a piece of fabric and usually positioned as discretely as possible. In other images, like this one, the “hidden mother” is very present. The girl, who is seated in a wheelchair in another tintype in ICP’s collections, is assisted by her mother and someone else who is clearly visible, but not important enough to be seen.

Credit line

Purchase, with funds provided by the ICP Aquisitions Committee, 2004

Feedback Accession No. 74.2004