Monday, February 09, 2009

Smile for the Camera - 10th Edition - Costume

Unknown subject, cabinet card,
Le Rue Lemer, Harrisburg, PA,
no other identifying information.

I love this unknown woman's image and show it in my photograph workshops sometimes. It is a 'stray' that I bought in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

I think the photographer must have been pleased with the way the photograph points up the various textures in her costume and her hair. She is showing off her ring finger, so I thought this must have been an engagement photograph, but she does seem sad to me. Perhaps she meant to look wistful. But what I specially like is that her dress is even more 'upholstered' and 'decorated' than the chair she rests her hands on. I do hope it wasn't hot that day.

I've seen many references on-line to photographs from this studio in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA. According to the book, Harrisburg's Old Eighth Ward, the LeRue Studio was the longest continuously operating business in the city. LeRue Lemer Senior (1837-1920) is mentioned as a photographer. Harrisburg's Old Eighth Ward: The Old Eighth Ward, Pennsylvania by J. Howard Wert, Michael Barton, and Jessica Dorman ( Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA: Arcadia Publishing, 2002) Preview on-line at Google Book Search:

This photograph is my entry for the 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera. The theme this time is Costume - as in dress in general; especially the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period. Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties. I know you have them, so share.

Smile for the Camera, Shades of the Departed:


Robin said...

I love this photo! I love the detail in her dress and how lovely the whole thing is. What a "PRICELESS" treasure. I can't imagine anyone loosing it or selling it. Thank you for sharing and I'm enjoying your blog. Maybe with your information and hopefully a class or two, I can locate my Candian Ancestors. I have a group that migrated from Greece to Canada and then later to the states. Im stuck in port in Canada right now. Hope to get information soon so I can set sail on another voyage.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi Diane,
Love this picture, too! Do I see 3 rings on her fingers? Wonder if the dress was hers or the photographers? The long fringe seems to match so perfectly!

Brett Payne said...

With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall have music wherever she goes ... :-)

Thank you for this great photo, Kay. Regards, Brett