Description: This formal studio portrait depicts a well-dressed young African American woman seated in a carved wood gothic chair with a boy about 8-10 years old standing to her left and resting his right arm on her shoulder. The woman is fashionably dressed in fitted gown with black ribbon tie at the collar and embroidered bolero-type jacket. The boy wears a double-breasted wood or cotton homespun suit and collarless white shirt.
Historical Note: This photograph, likely taken in Memphis soon after the Civil War, may depict a formerly enslaved young woman and her young son. Both wear serious expressions, and she holds what appears to be a Bible in her lap. Commissioning a formal portrait like this one represents the agency of African Americans during a time of transition into a society free from slavery.
Contributing Institution: Pink Palace Family of Museums
Rights: Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Pink Palace Family of Museums.
Digital Publisher: Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University