Archive for September 28th, 2011

Recently stumbled across a site that has become a new favorite.  It’s called Luminous Lint and is devoted to the art of fine photography from the earliest days of the medium up to the present time.  It is filled with an incredible archive of imagery from the work of the giants of photography such as Richard Avedon and Walker Evans to the most obscure photos from unknown photographers.  I have only scratched the surface with my own visits to this sight, at first drawn to it because I discovered they had a group of photos from Henry Beach, a photographer of the turn of the 20th century who chronicled life in the Adirondacks.  I was familar with some of his photos of the village of Forestport, a place I’ve mentioned several times here.  My great-grandfather was a prominent lumberman there in its heyday and it remains an area of fascination for me.

One of the oddities you can find on this site is a good sized collection of Post Mortem photography from the late 1800’s, such as the piece shown above.  It was not uncommon for families of that era to have photos taken of the recently deceased as a final memory of their family member.  It is a very different viewpoint of death than we have as a society today and perhaps stems from the relative nearness of death in their world as compared to ours.  I know from my genealogical research that many families losing several children to death was not uncommon and many households held extended families so that aged relatives passing was a normal course of everyday life.  Death was simply a part of life.  It still is even though we often try to deny and delay it. 

So, if you are attracted to imagery that is beautiful or odd or filled with history, this is a great site to spend a bit of time.  Unlike many sites, you won’t feel as thought your time was wasted.

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