Monday, May 10, 2010


A few weeks ago Tina and I went to the Metropolitan Museum to see Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage. I had read a few things about it beforehand...and it sounded like it was right up my alley...but seriously? turned out to be one of the most inspiring exhibits I've been to in a while!  

In the 1860s, the popularity of the carte de visite (affordable tiny paper photos you could have taken and then hand out to whomever you please) started a kind of photocollage craze. Women would cut out these pictures of their friends and family and place them in hand-painted vignettes. What I found surprising about these collages was how thoroughly modern they seemed. They were so wonderfully weird and witty and playful and surreal. Not at all what you would expect from a bunch of aristocratic Victorian ladies! The show ended I decided to do a quick post with a few images from the exhibit for those of you who didn't get to see it.


  1. Hello Darbie,
    What i lovely little collection of photos you have displyed here i absolutly love them !
    Yes and you are so right dont they just seem so modern and "weird and witty and playful and surreal" they really really do, I love the first picture your main one the best but this bottom picture is .. well i really enjoy looking at it and to say this is from the hands of Victorian ladies. Do you have more from the exhibit ??
    Thanks so much Jim

  2. jim,

    there is a book available that has many of the images from the show. you can get it from amazon.

    that's where most of these pics i posted are from.