Victorian Photo Collage
In the exhibition Playing with Pictures, there are many interesting and rather provocative collages that include human photographs, watercolors, and various prints. My favorite one is a detail from “Mixed Pickles,” from the Westmorland Album (see fig. 1). This photo collage helps to discover that the life of Victorian English people could be introduced in a variety of ways. Instead of prim ladies and strict gentlemen who smoke cigars, I observe a funny family the members of which liked to play games like “Mixed Pickles”. At the same time, vague feelings cannot be ignored like the role of Lord Yarborough who is portrayed with a pickle fork or the eyes or emotions of those people in the bottle. Some of them wanted to be chosen and get out of the bottle, and some of them remained indifferent to a situation and their places in it.
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To complete this task, I was lucky to obtain an interesting experience with developing a photo in the darkroom. As soon as I created an account, I got access to a circle with several human characteristics, periods, and locations. It was challenging to choose just several options to take a photo. My final choice included such phrases as “dandy” and “1880s”, and I received the photo of Peter Jackson in suit (see fig. 2). I got a chance to read a brief bibliography of this man and listen to a speech about Peter and his possible representation in the modern world. Life in Victorian England was not easy, and the people of color faced certain problems. Still, this photo experience proved that the hierarchy of black people existed many years ago. Such factors as behavior, clothes, and manners played a significant role.
“Peter Jackson”. The Missing Chapter. Web.
“Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage.” The Metropolitan Museum, 2010. Web.