Monday, September 17, 2007

Mesmerized


Growing up this photo hanging on a wall in my grandparent’s home mesmerized me. It was contained in a gold gilded oval frame, as I recall, with a BUBBLE glass front which was truly unique. The woman in the photo captivated me, and I always wanted to know the story behind the long locks of hair.

I’ve been doing some research on this photo and have learned a number of facts, although little is really known.
 The young woman in the photo is my father’s grandmother, Anna Lien, age unknown
 When she departed from the ship as she came to America from Telemark, Norway her hair was reported to be below her ankles
 No one knows why her hair was so long, and all who might possibly know the answer are no longer alive
 I discovered, upon close inspection of the copy print in my fathers home (shown above), that the image is actually a painting, not a photo (the feet were the tell-tale on this fact)
 Upon restoring this image in Photoshop, and enlarging the pixels for repair on my monitor I noticed a diamond ring on her left hand, which had not been noticed before – which leaves me to believe that this is an engagement painting
 Once I obtain the marriage date I can deduct Anna’a age, as I have her birthdate (this is exciting for me!)
 I also learned that Anna’s husband, Nicholas Weber, had to help her wash her hair (no doubt!)

Other facts learned from my aunt who took the original to a photo specialist to have copied: Original is actually a chalk painting, rarely done, and easily smudged (I suggested the painting be taken to a specialist and have chalk fixative applied to help preserve it – a product that did not exist in the 1800’s)
 Artist’s name was likely smudged from bottom corner, as the painting has a number of chalk smudges on it
 Frame itself is very unique, rare to find one intact from that period

What I am doing: Scanned the copy print that my father had received
 Restoring as best I can in Photoshop as the image has scratches, discolorations of red spots here and there, lots of specks
 Planning to reprint on archival premium photo paper and return to my father in a proper, archival safe frame
 Planning to scrap with Paper Trunk this week for the Scrapbook Playground DT, as I realize the colors will be a wonderful compliment to this painting
 I will continue to be mesmerized by this image that I adored as a child, and will at least have some facts to go along with the page – my contribution to preserving family history. I LOVE this part of scrapbooking!

These are my plans this week for scrapbooking. I am not a huge genealogist, but I do love to learn and make discoveries when they fall my way. As we continue our journey here on earth it is important that we not forget the past, for where would we be without ancestors?

2 comments:

Tara said...

hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

Elly said...

what an amazing story! Not just the HISTORY of the photo, but YOUR story and everything you did/are doing to preserve it. Gorgeous photo too!