Boy with a fabric-wrapped chair

By: usermattw

May 17 2013

Tags: ,

Category: Children


Click here to see it larger.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 6.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Undated and unidentified, but see comments below.


I’m not sure what’s going on here.  This seems to be a teenage boy posing in a studio setting that is designed to look like the great outdoors.   But he’s leaning on what appears to be a chair wrapped in floral-patterned fabric.  Perhaps it is being used to help steady the boy in lieu of a posing stand?  Has a crude attempt been made to disguise the chair as something like a flowering bush to make its presence in this “natural” setting more plausible?  Standards and conventions have certainly changed over the years regarding how our minds accept and process what we are looking at in photos, but I don’t recall ever seeing anything like this before.  On another topic, here is the back of the photo.  It’s a junkyard of random information and notes, plus what appears to be the remains of an envelope flap that had been glued to the back.  Some of the notes are probably from a previous dealer or dealers.  But the woman’s name and address puzzle me.  Was she connected to the boy in the photo?  Was she someone to whom the photo was mailed in the offending envelope?  If it had been a man’s name, I would have assumed it was likely the identity of the subject.  But unless this boy was experiencing some gender dysphoria, we have a good example of why it’s risky to automatically make assumptions about what is written on the backs of these old photos.

3 comments on “Boy with a fabric-wrapped chair”

  1. It looks to me that he is not in studio , he is standing in garden . I see grass growing and some light shadow on the wall left . There was also a breeze when photo was taken because I see movement of floral pattern fabric .

    • Hmm, I see what you mean. But a lot of those old studio settings were quite realistic. It looked to me like trees placed up against a painted nature scene to give it realism and depth, with what I assumed to be sod on the floor. But, as always, I could be wrong. The chair still looks odd to me. 🙂

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