| || |
Unidentified photographer / collagist
[Album of collaged portraits]
Albumen silver print
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bequest of Herbert Mitchell, 2008, Accession Number: 2015.400.200
Beginning in the late 1850s, cartes de visite, or small photographic portrait cards, were produced on a scale that put photography in the hands of the masses. Ahead of its time, this unusual collection of collages spoofs the rigidity of the format. The images play with scale and gender by juxtaposing cutout heads and mismatched sitters, thereby highlighting the difference between social identity—which was communicated in part through the exchange of calling cards—and individuality.