Victorian collages

The other day I read about the new exhibit at the Met: Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage  and not being able to resist I went ahead and ordered the catalogue published by the Art Institute of Chicago in conjunction with this exhibit. The collages presented in the book come from "albums" kept by the fashionable ladies of the time and present a magnificent  example of the mixed media photo collage genre flourishing in the hands of the 19th century fortunate few. These wonderful albums often richly bound in leather, give us a taste of those amateur artists' skills, a good understanding of how photography entered their everyday magic, and a close-up of how - along with the other necessary for their status activities (music, drawing, reading, embroidery) - those collages filled their days with whimsical and fantasy charged content! Oh, how much I LOVE this book!!! 

A book kept by modern young ladies for show,
Of which their plain grandmothers nothing did know;
A medley of scraps, half verse, and half prose,
And some things not very like either, God knows.
Charles Lamb on the album of the day... (1830)


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