Lena at 28

What it is:

Photo (4 x 6 inches) inserted in a cardboard matte/frame, which has been irregularly trimmed on the right side and bottom, possibly to fit a frame (approx. 7 x 9 inches; I have cropped most of the frame from the scan).

What I know about it:

Handwritten on the back is Lena M. Purcell / age 28 / 1913


This is another one of the ones my mother gave me for my birthday, and I particularly like it.  It’s so simple, she’s just standing there, and yet I feel there’s such depth, such expression.

4 comments on “Lena at 28”

  1. This is a beautiful portrait! I just love the simplicity of it. I’d say that this photographer had a sense of letting subtle subjects speak for themselves. It is quite a powerful trick in this image. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. 🙂

    • I agree. I’m there are many subtle things we could point to (lighting, camera angle, clothing, etc.), but the sum total is something I think is quite lovely. I’m glad you like it, too.

  2. This is a lovely portrait. What I love about these photographs is that this photograph will have been one of the only photographs this woman would have had taken of her as a young woman. It then becomes the image of her as a young woman, unlike today when we have so many images of ourselves. Having so many images now seems to devalue them, whereas this photograph only becomes more precious.

    • I agree. Although even today, despite all the photos of ourselves, I think it’s still rare for the average person to sit for a formal portrait.

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