Thursday, April 29, 2010

Late Victorian Men - Part 1

I adore late Victorian portraits. While I am especially fond of daguerreotypes with their ephemeral and shifting images, there is generally something about the portraits taken in the second half of the nineteenth century which appeals to me. When I was going through an album today I decided to make a few posts showing some of the interesting Victorian portraits which we have in the archival collection at the Annapolis Heritage Society. While the gentlemen have center stage today, I will make a post featuring some ladies with hooped skirts and fancy hats in the coming days.

Whenever I look at one of these images I am struck by how familiar and yet different they are. While the clothing styles are recognizable, they are decidedly not something which would be worn today. As you can clearly see in this collection of carte-de visite photographs, the hairstyles are somewhat different than those found on the street today. I especially love the hair on the gentleman in the top image and the comb-over, mutton chop, soul patch combination in the second image.

As I look at these images, I can see genuine personality if not eccentricity. I fear that as we move toward a more global world that we may be losing the eccentrics in our midst. This could be the people who have spent their entire life living in a small fishing village on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. This could equally be the artisinal cheese maker in France, the llama farmer in Peru or the salt miner in China. As we move toward a globalized, technology filled culture, we may be unknowingly losing some of the most interesting parts of the human experience.

All for now,

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