Absence/Presence: Scratched Out Negative Cabinet Card Obfuscating Figure

Regular price $135.00

I've seen a number of old photos at this point with subjects cut out or scratched out or otherwise omitted, which are always interesting and invite the invention of a story---but this cabinet card is just about my favorite I've ever seen, with the very committed scratching out of one of the six figures done on the negative before printing the positive. I love the intensive markmaking itself, and the way it first reads as if the very long hair of a woman turned away, and how the omitted figure is at the center of the group, surrounded on all sides, and especially how a sort of ghostly apparition seems visible through the scratching. Plus the fairly shallow depth of field, with the child at front very crisp but details progressively softening into the distance, such that the whole image feels rather otherworldly. And then, the perfect final detail, a single black "x" below the image. Really a great one I think.

6 1/2 x 4 5/16 and in very good condition. Handwritten attribution on reverse, Vesta Kent of (I can't quite decipher the town) Maine.