Sep 2, 2004

Child with Drum

Child with Drum


Daguerreotype, quarter-plate

Image: 8.3 x 7 cm (3 1/4 x 2 3/4 in.); Case: 12.7 x 10.5 cm (5 x 4 1/8 in.); Matted: 61 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2002.33



For this finely toned daguerreotype, an unknown photographer skillfully manipulated a bulky camera into a low vantagepoint, ensured even lighting, and positioned the quaintly dressed subject against a neutral background to create a charming portrait. The child was carefully coached to stare directly into the lens and to hold the toy drum and drumsticks convincingly. Perhaps the drum is meant to recall earlier times in American history and to symbolize its fight for independence.

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