I was really excited to find this one, in large part because of what this young woman is holding in her hand: a molded and painted mesh mask very much like several I’ve had in the shop, and of the type we usually now describe as Odd Fellows/Daughters of Rebekah masks, though I’ve never really been able to figure out how widely these were made and used outside of those affiliations. I love the way she is posed with the mask firmly in hand but not worn, while she stares straight ahead directly at the camera, to me almost defiantly, as if to declare her true self and her masked self simultaneously. I can’t stop looking at this one.
Cyanotype mounted to card. Photo measures 4 9/16” x 3 7/16. Card: 6 3/8” x 5 3/8”. Photo shows some brown staining across her skirt, some scratches below the pillow and mask, and a little light brown staining over her right (facing) shoulder and a black mark at bottom left. The card shows some staining at upper right. I'd frame this up with a white mat covering the gray card. Early 20th c. I believe.