Victorian Photocollage

So whilst doing research on the origins of photography for uni, I came across a sub-genre that I was completely unaware of.  Ladies of aristocracy in the 1860s and 1870s, tended to keep albums of sketches, verses and drawings to basically show off at social occasions in their homes.  Drawing as a skill was seen as quite the accomplishment, and signalled not only the ability to pay for materials but also to pay for lessons.  When photography came along, these albums changed in that they became quite exclusive in showing the type of company you kept.  It also lead for room to sit on the couch with a gentleman and show off whilst getting a bit closer – the hussies!  The subject of these collages were mainly human heads on animal bodies, real people on illustrated backgrounds or morphed faces onto objects.  Animals featured heavily as they possessed certain symbolic qualities, like dogs being loyal or a birds nest or cage for a home.  A lot also took inspiration from the many fairytales that were released in the time, like Alice in Wonderland, and stories by Hans Christian Anderson.  I’ve included some images below so you can se for yourself the kind of pieces that were being created.  I think their is something quite alluring about these collages.  I think the reason I like them so much is because they are so odd in what they choose to represent, and show an imaginative side to a grouping of people I considered to be very formal and prudish.




2 Responses to “Victorian Photocollage”
  1. These are intriguing.

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