PORTRAIT OF A BEFUDDLED GRANDFATHER AND YOUNG GRANDCHILD IN JAMESTOWN

This photograph is likely a portrait of a grandfather and grandchild. “Generation Skipping” family photographs  were not at all unusual during the era of cabinet card photography. The white haired and bearded grandfather seems to have forgotten to attend to his grooming before sitting for this image. The old man and his grandchild both appear to be quite befuddled by their session with the photographer. This image was produced by the Stanton studio in Jamestown. There are a number of towns named Jamestown in the United States. It has been impossible, so far, to identify the state in which Stanton’s studio was located. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on July 14, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Boy this is really a subjective comment, “befuddled.” You cannot apply modern standards of “now smile” uniformly to photos from 100-130 years ago.

    • Thanks for bringing up this issue. You are one hundred percent correct about my comment being subjective. I enjoy looking at antique images for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that these photographs provide a window for the viewer to look back at history. We can learn much from the objective facts we learn from the photos. For example, what toys did children play with in the late 1800’s or what were the fashion trends during that era? The answers to such questions are discoverable by looking at enough images from that time period. A second reason I enjoy looking at vintage photographs is that they tell a story. We create the story in our own mind from the evidence provided by the image. It is clear the story we compose is very subjective. The story is based on our own experiences as well as by our own knowledge, emotions, and belief system. Of course we don’t actually know what the subjects of these photos are thinking or feeling. However, its interesting and entertaining to speculate. If I write that a grandfather is “befuddled”, I am basically asserting that he appears as if he is “befuddled”. It is obvious that I may be misreading his emotions. I hope that viewers of these antique images enjoy learning facts from the photos as well creating stories about what might be happening in the photographs.


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