Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This little snapshot (c. 1975) is of the entry at my grandmother's house. On the most perfect drop-leaf table, she had a portrait of me, one of her mother, and two small photos (in a little metal frame that folded like a book), one half of a pair of truly elegant chinoiserie lamps with silk shades, and on the left side of the table is a lantern (red candle!) that my uncle made on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. It's like the ones they used in the mid-nineteenth century -- the only other time I've seen one like it is on a Confederate ghost walk.
I love a little vignette, and this little white-edged snap perched on its delicate brass easel is a peach. The best part is the "interior within an interior" effect (à la "play within a play"). The setting of the photo (endo-frame) relates so much to the setting (exo-frame) of which it's a part. The similar colors of the tables, a single lamp to the right, and the mirrors on the wall behind.
Why was this picture ever taken? It's unusual to to find a box filled with party-people and holiday smiles, only to come across one where the only people in the shot are two-dimensional. How did this one make the cut into the box with the party people? Talk about absence/presence and representation through image! Whoa -- heavy stuff, Mema!
Unpretentious southern decor: a bit of nicety, a lot of quality, and family ever-present. Mema had it.