Hidden Mother

August 12 — December 23, 2015
Ripin Print Gallery

Early portrait photographers employed a number of devices—from pedestals to pincer-like braces—to stabilize the bodies of their subjects during long exposures. But these methods often were not suitable for the small, unruly body of a child. Instead, the photographer enlisted the mother, who, hidden by studio props, supported or soothed her offspring. Examples of this fascinating practice of the 19th century and the little-known genre of “hidden mother” photography include tintypes, cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards, and other mediums.

Many of the works are drawn from the private collection of Lee Marks and John C. DePrez Jr.

"Hidden Mother" was curated by Laura Larson (OC 1988), a photographer based in Athens, Ohio.

Tintype, ca. 1860 - 1870s
Collection of Lee Marks and John C. DePrez, Jr.