Woman standing, man sitting in New Haven

What it is:

Photo (approx. 4.5 x 5.5 inches)  mounted on cardboard frame/backing (approx. 7 x 9.25 inches).

What I know about it:

Photographer is J. Freeman of New Haven, Connecticut.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


Besides being a lovely portrait, this post is a sort of follow-up to the discussion in the comments of the “Johnsons on the porch” post from a couple days ago.   Here is another portrait of a couple from around the same time period.  The woman is standing and the man is sitting.  And unlike the Johnsons, where the man has been said to look a bit smug and the woman is positioned like a servant, here they look relaxed and comfortable with each other and their positions.  Again, was this combination a fashion or protocol at the time, or is it just a coincidence among my collection?  See also here.  The exception seems to come when the woman has reached an age when she is shown the respect accorded to the elderly, as in here.   Looking at this photo (and trying to determine if this woman actually has arms, which I believe she does), it occurred to me that one reason to have the woman standing might be to show off her dress to the best advantage.  One last comment about this picture is that the red ink used to emboss the photographer’s name strikes me as unusual.

8 comments on “Woman standing, man sitting in New Haven”

  1. Another reason to have the man sit would be if he’s extremely tall (or at least very tall in comparison to his companion). It seems like that might be the case here.

    • Yes, that could be, too. Or even, in rare cases, if he is unable to stand for some reason. Part of me wants to try to look it up, and another part of me thinks the guessing is fun.

  2. I realy appreciate the links to the other photos, as well as this follow-up to the photo from a few days ago. It’s nice that you chose a photo in which the couple’s body language does not imply any kind of power imbalance. The contrast is striking.

    • Glad you like it! For all we know, they could hate each other and just be good at faking it. But they do seem relaxed and happy with each other. It’s definitely interesting to compare/contrast the body language of different photos, and to see how different the impression can be even when people are operating with the same basic template of poses. Also, I’m just pleased I figured out how to get the links to work. 🙂

  3. Beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing.

  4. A very handsome couple. I would have bought this one if I’d seen it in a shop!

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