First Communion from Olyphant, Pennsylvania

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Photo (3.5 x 5.5 inches) mounted into a folding cardboard frame/folder (I have cropped most of the folder from the scan).

What I know about it:

Photographer is Hummler of Olyphant, Pennsylvania.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.

Comments:

I have a bunch of First Communion photos, both boys and girls, a few of which I’ve posted already.  (I also have a number of photos from Olyphant, of all places, but since they seem to have come from the same source, I guess I shouldn’t find that too odd.)  Though First Communions aren’t a part of my own personal history, I find I am fascinated by photos representing ritual, and perhaps the fact that First Communions are outside my experience is part of the fascination.   I see props here (rosary, candle, prayer book) that get repeated in these photos.  And yet there is individuality (this boy’s shirt/blouse is a style I don’t recall seeing elsewhere, not to mention the way he’s allowed to stand there with it practically untucked, unless that’s part of the style; and the use of the chair as a table strikes me as an unusually artistic touch for the time).  In any case, I think this is a handsome portrait of an adorable subject.

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4 comments on “First Communion from Olyphant, Pennsylvania”

  1. Yep, handsome and adorable. Having grown up with catholicism, it is only recently that I have been able to look at pictures like these and see how weird they must look to those with no experience of it. I am no longer a believer. If I ever was, the demise of my faith began when at the age of 7 my childhood dog died and a nun told me he wouldn’t be in heaven waiting for me as “dogs don’t go to heaven”. I told her that if that was true I wouldn’t want to go there and got disciplined for the comment!


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