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Not-so-inconspicuous mothers hiding in Victorian portraits. 9 July 2012


Think back to when you were a child (if you can) and try to recall a time when you had to  have your photo taken. Of course you didn't want to do it without your mother - that would be absurd. Generally you got your way, and mum would come and grab your hand, hold you up, or stick you on her knee. Mothers in the early 19th century though, well, they had things a bit harder. Nobody wanted to see the mum. "Get her off the stage" they would (I assume) yell. This didn't gel too well with the kids - there was no way in hell they would let some new-fangled lightbox capture their soul without mum on hand. So what did they do? They hid her, and, in almost all cases, not very well. The photos look predominantly scary, a little bit silly, and mostly just weird. Take a look at some of the pictures below; it's sort of like Where's Wally, but replace a striped man with mother in a curtain. Some more images can be found over here.