5/30/14

Another YOUNG GIRL AT BAKER'S ART GALLERY?


Those from Sepia Saturday who have been around for several years might remember a post I did on November 19, 2010 entitled The Lovely Young Girl at Baker's Art Gallery. It was about two lovely photos of a young girl taken at a photography studio in Columbus, Ohio. You might even see a comment you left with the post.

Over the past years I've been contacted by several people hoping to find out more information about the gallery. Alas, I have to tell them I'm not an expert and that everything I found online was put in the post. Let's see what happens this time.

The photo below was also taken at the Baker's Art Gallery in the late 1880s to sometime within the 1890s. I found this in Betty Schnabel's father's album. I believe Betty's father, Donald G. Schnabel, was from Ohio, though I can't verify it. If you don't know about Betty just click on "Betty Schnabel" in the labels below to see a variety of photos all purchased at the estate sale of her belongings.

First I was excited to find another photo from the gallery, but even more excited by the subject. When you collect vintage photos once in a while you come across ones of people cross-dressing. The most common are photos of women dressing up as men. They are usually done as a lark with a few gals dressed in suits "acting masculine." Occasionally I've also found ones of men purposely dressed as women as a joke. But the more interesting photos are those of someone cross-dressing because it's who they were. Often you're not sure what you're looking at, as is the case with this image. Is this a young man with very feminine features? Or is this a young woman who chose to dress as a man and perhaps live as a man? It is the first photo I have of a woman possibly living as a man. I have several of men that have me curious. There's an interesting story here that we'll probably never know.




Click on either image to see them larger.

This is my contribution to this week's Sepia Saturday which is about long hair. Sepia Saturday is giving you the long of it, I'm giving you the short of it.

14 comments:

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    1. I was thinking the same thing. A lot of pizazz!

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  2. Boy, that's a tossup! The photo could easily be of a somewhat feminine-looking young man, or a somewhat male-looking woman. I'm betting on the young man, however.

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  3. A very intriguing idea and not impossible though the age of the youngster is vague without knowing full height,etc. From information on Ancestry.com Donald G. Schnabel was born in Ohio in 1898 and likely in North Baltimore, OH where his father George E. Schnabel was working for Manhattan Oil Company. His parents came from Lima, OH. Both places are about 100 miles from Columbus. The 1886 date on the photo would place it around the years when George E.Schnabel was about age 10. Perhaps it is a school classmate of his.
    Or not.

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    1. Thanks mucho for the historical data about Donald Schnabel. Helps to fill in some of the holes. Also explains why I've always felt he too worked in the oil business.

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  4. I like the way you find stories in the photos. Whether or not this is a male of a femal sitter is irrelevant to me. The ideas it brings up in your post are so interesting. (The original post of the Lovely Young Girls has one of the photos missing. I tried reloading twice but it was missing each time. Hope you can fix it? Or is it my comp?)

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    1. The images are there for me so it must be at your end of the world.

      It is fun to imagine this person going to the studio for their sitting, possibly dealing with the folks in my other post. Adds a bit of life, movement to all of it.

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  5. I love hearing these stories.

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  6. Probably a male, but who knows...

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  7. Ah we can all amuse ourselves with imagining what the backstory might be - and that is always the joy with old photographs.

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  8. Intriguing, but my vote is for a stylish young man.

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  9. I'm surprised at the number of people who think this is a man. I immediately thought woman - a woman who looks very much TODAY, ahead of her time.

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    1. Me too. I thought it would be interesting to see how many thought it was a male or female.

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  10. I think the features are feminine.Perhaps she would prefer to have been a boy. Compare with Radclyffe Hall.

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