reading images

       

Unidentified Group of Three Young Women, originally uploaded by George Eastman HouseDate: ca. 1856

The Flickr Blog announced today that the apparently oldest photography museum in the world, has joined Flickr and is releasing some of their collection via the Flickr Commons. This is such a great idea, and I look forward to searching through some of those collections, a virtual gold mine for visual researchers. I love this image of three young women, one holding a book on her lap (strangely she is holding it the wrong way around, or is she presenting the ornate book cover to an imagined audience?)- it reminds me of the real Bronte sisters and the fictional Little Women. And then, of course Vermeer’s various paintings of women receiving, reading and writing letters back in the 17th century. What is this fascination with women and reading? It is hard to imagine young men being portrayed the same way as these three girls. 

3 Responses to “reading images”

  1. jack and jill « word and image Says:

    […] Recently I posted something about vintage photos and girls reading – by chance I just discovered another great collection of vintage photos on Flickr, actually several collections and fleamarket finds by signs and wonders. Many of those photos are really intriguing, they tell of ordinary nd t the same time unique lives lives and stories forgotten. I was thinking that quite a few could be used in class as a prompt for story writing. Maybe I will use that one day. In any case there are several photos of girls reading, never boys. What makes them so special? Maybe it is because they tell of self-contained, feminine and ‘good girls’ but at the same time also speak of an independent mind, a claim for a world of their own. Girls reading don’t pose for the photographer in the same way as on other photos. read it again, originally uploaded by signs and wonders. […]

  2. vernacular creativity « word and image Says:

    […] the theme of girls reading, also here, started earlier on this blog, here are two images, one collage, and one petit point […]

  3. Sophia Says:

    In the old days I think they paid more attention to the symbolics in the surroundings of the subject(s) portrayed – a girl reading or having books near her would imply intelligence etc.

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