Woman standing before a screen and a rocking chair

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Real photo post card measuring 3.5 x 5.5 inches.  Unmailed.

What I know about it:

Undated and unidentified.  The paper manufacturer’s markings on the back (Cyko) date it to 1906-1915.


This is another example of how I feel an imperfect photo can often be more revealing to us years later, and therefore more interesting.  I gather this is not a studio photo, but a woman standing in her (or someone’s) parlor.  (As always, I’m happy to hear if someone thinks otherwise.)  She is off-center and poorly lit (the light is at her feet!), and everything seems to be at odd angles to the camera.  Yet it gives us a candid look at a vintage room (I mistook the screen for drapes until I enlarged the image and took a better look), and I think it gives us a better idea of what she would look like if we ran into her on the street (or at the opera, or wherever she’s going) than a polished studio portrait would.  This may not be the prettiest photo I own, but I think it’s more honest than some.

UPDATE:  I found another version of this photo.  You can view it here.

12 comments on “Woman standing before a screen and a rocking chair”

  1. I think this is the first vintage photo you have posted where someone is smiling like they mean it. This lady appears to be a free spirit who might actually be enjoying her life. How refreshing!

  2. She seems to me a model in an artist’s studio

  3. I had that same thought, and I even wondered if the picture could have been taken as an aid to the artist. Her pose reminds me of paintings like these by Robert Henri, which are from the same time period: http://tinyurl.com/cgyze4x

    • Yes, that’s a great suggestion. I guess I was thrown off by the fact that it was printed as a postcard, like it was being treated as something more special than an artist’s tool. Perhaps she got a copy for herself? Anyway, the link is perfect, I can totally see the resemblance in the style.

  4. I find her outfit most interesting.

  5. Looks like a changing screen, and I’d venture a guess that this is a new garment she’s trying on. I’ll even hedge a bet that she’s in her dressing gown or every day clothes and modeling on a new cape and hat for an adoring partner.

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