5/11/14

The TREE, the house, and the family


People who lived comfortable lives often took staged photos of their homes with family members scattered about. Of course people who lived in shacks on the prairie also took photos, but the family members were generally grouped together since the houses were so small. But the wealthy spread themselves around the property.

This is a confusing photo because I'm not sure if they took it for the house or the tree? I'm thinking the tree. Why are the family members placed like something from connect the dots? The tree was probably pretty darn expensive and a special addition to their property, and most likely not native to wherever this was taken. Personally I'd rather see a closeup of that stained glass window on the far left.


Click on image to see it larger.

This vintage snapshot is on the same photobook page as the tea time with the captain in my previous post. In other words, this is also from the Betty Schnabel estate.

6 comments:

  1. That is an amazing photo of the two women sitting at the base of the stairs. The palm makes it to be a southern home, or a palm that gets move in and out to keep it from freezing.

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    1. I actually believe the house might be in Northern California, possibly Berkeley. So though not native to Northern California they do grow quite nicely. They seem to be pretty proud of it.

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  2. I have just arranged to meet up with my old stained glass lecturer from university, so I also would have liked to see a close up of that window. She is writing an encyclopedia of stained glass in Australia and would have loved to see it too.

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    1. Sadly the photo is so faded and out of focus that there's no hope of a decent shot. Let's just hope it still exists.

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  3. Though I agree with your observation about how family groups posed and the camera's focus on the palm, I'm not convinced that this is some grand house. There's something about the size of the portico and archways that looks too tall for a family home. I think it might be an art museum or academic building, which could explain the fatigued mother consulting the guidebook after tramping around on hard stone floors.

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    1. You could be on to something. Unfortunately the album flits too often from place to place with no apparent reason. There are a lot of photos of places in Berkeley and there were, and still are, some very grand houses there. The old money from the gold rush and railroads and who knows what else.

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