Woman touching a table

Click here to view it larger.

It’s a pretty picture of a pretty woman, but the pose is a funny choice. I think I get what they were going for, a simple but elegant display of feminine grace. Yet somehow it looks like she said “Wait, let me move this table out of the way,” just as the photographer took the picture. Or that she’s about to use the table to give some sort of demonstration. I find it interesting that she’s perfectly centered, and yet the photo feel off-balance (at least to me). I don’t know who this woman was. It’s from a box of photos that are primarily from Northern California, so maybe it’s from Northern California. It measures 4 x 6 inches, and was obviously glued into a cardboard frame, but not the one it was in when I bought it, so I don’t know the photographer. In any case, it’s a lovely picture to ponder.

8 comments on “Woman touching a table”

  1. The studio should have had a prop on the table for her to be touching or holding. Something like this maybe. But as you say, still a lovely portrait.

    • Yes, good example. I would have expected something more like that. It’s hard to imagine the studio didn’t have a prop. So maybe the decision was made to go for a spare, clean look.

  2. It is an awkward pose. Maybe if her hands were touching the table closer to her body?

  3. It’s not a particularly exciting table – functional but unadorned – but given that she’s also dressed rather simply, I wonder if perhaps she made the table and is showing it off? It’s an odd one…

    • The table’s simplicity reminds me of the arts-and-crafts style that would have been popular then. But I agree it feels almost too simple here without further adornment.

  4. Not that you asked, but given the skirt’s shape, I’m going to suggest a date of circa 1912.

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