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<EM>Georgiana Meen</EM>, photographer unknown

Curator Athol McCredie talks about this early photographic portrait

Georgiana Meen, photographer unknown
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><EM>You’ll find this photograph, one of six in the frame, at bottom right.</EM></P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>This woman in her crinoline dress has taken advantage of what was, at the time, a new type of photograph: the <EM>carte-de-visite</EM>. Previous forms of photography were bulky and expensive. These were cheap, slim, and small.</P> <P>The French name comes from the fact that these images are about the size of the visiting cards of the period.</P> <P><EM>Cartes-de-visite</EM> made family photograph collections really practicable for the first time. For a modest price, sitters would have received several prints of their photograph. One set of pictures might be added to an album, enabling family relationships to be laid out in visual form. Other prints could be shared with relatives, to be displayed on mantelpieces or in albums far away. In this photograph you can see that the woman’s right hand is resting on a miniature carte-de- visite album. Showing an album within a carte-de-visite photograph may have been hint from the photographer to the sitter on how they could use their photograph. </P> <P>Because cartes-de-visite were very popular, many have survived and made it into public collections such as Te Papa’s.</P> <P><EM>As you exit this space at the far end, turn left to find the headphone symbol for the next track. <BR></EM></P>

More media

Georgiana Meen

Unknown, Georgiana Meen, early 1860s, carte-de-visite, albumen silver print,
Purchased 1991.
Full object info is available on