Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Martha, 4 1/2 yrs, 1929
When my grandmother died I was given the responsibility of putting together a poster of photographs taken over the course of her life. Some of the photographs, like this one, were so attractive in their composure and curation. At the memorial ceremony people kept coming up to me to tell me how I looked just like my grandmother-- it was a strangely morose and flattering at the same time. My grandfather tried to convince me take some of the photographs with me but my father took over the role of family historian and insisted that all the photos stay exactly as they were (read: as my grandmother composed them-- it is her handwriting labeling the bottom of this photograph here). So instead we made photocopies of the pictures I felt most precious. My father was emphatic about the importance of these photographs and expressed horror at the idea of me mixing them into all the other photographs in my collection. I'm still thinking about what that fear was all about.