Untitled (West Indian Women Being Measured)

Untitled (West Indian Women Being Measured)

c. 1860s

Three studies mounted on a single card

Image 1: 8.6 x 5.2 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/16 in.); Image 2: 8.6 x 5.2 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/16 in.); Image 3: 8.5 x 5.2 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/16 in.)

Gift of Barbara Tannenbaum and Mark Soppeland 2019.70

Location

Did you know?

The tension in the sitters’ body language and expressions suggest that posing here was not a choice or a pleasurable experience.

Description

The eerie depictions of three ages of West Indian women of African descent are early examples of photography’s use by nineteenth-century anthropologists to categorize different ethnic and racial types within the human race. These images were almost certainly taken by a European or Caucasian photographer during a time of colonial occupation.

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