Friday, April 1, 2011


I came across this amazing collection recently. Look at his hair style! (1850) These pictures fascinate me. They belong to the Donald Weber Collection, which was donated to George Eastman House (a cornocopia for visual feasting). Most of them are small daguerreotypes circa 1850.
"Donald Weber began collecting photographs in the 1950’s when he purchased a ‘bushel basket’ of stereographs for $7 dollars. In 1976 his initial association with George Eastman House was established with a gift of a few items, and in 1994 he donated his collection of nearly 260 daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes along with funds to support the collection’s care. Since his original gift, Weber has donated over 600 objects to the museum and continues to offer a variety of 19th and 20th Century photographs to George Eastman House every year."

Weber finds nearly all his objects in flea markets, estate sales or through dealings with other collectors. It is said that “chance favors the prepared mind,” and discoveries at such venues must therefore result from experience and the ability to recognize exceptional objects amidst a preponderance of unremarkable ones. It is evident by looking at this selection of his ‘finds’ that Weber possesses a remarkable eye, and an obvious passion for photographs."

Twins, 1855, daguerrotype. They are even wearing the same ring on their index fingers!

I find the seriousness of the subjects fascinating but I know it had to do with sitting still so no blurring occured. A face without an expression seems to express more for some reason. Almost haunting in some cases. I wonder who they were, what happened in their lives.

Look at this woman and her seven children( 1860), so different from today's pictures!
Say Cheese:)


Kerry O'Gorman said...

Serious as a heart attack! And those! I try to look into these peoples faces to see who they were as well...really fascinating. What a treasure to find!

leendadll said...

I'm fascinated when someone looks like they're from current times. In your series, it's 2nd from the bottom - girl on the right in the back row.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating photos. Thanks for sharing.