Photographs allow us to view images from the past like no other medium.
Invented in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, black and white
photography was well developed by the end of the century. Nevertheless, the
necessity for adequate light and a stationary subject led a static quality to
many photographs of the time. Virtually all contemporary performing artists had
photographs of themselves, often in costume, taken by a professional photographer.
The familiar sepia tone cabinet photos mounted on heavy
cardboard have stood the test of time better than many recent color
snapshots, and show us the performers as they appeared to their admirers
who collected these pictures.