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The Hidden Mother: preserving baby memories


This is not a proper blog post. However, I was so taken with some of the 997 photographs I saw from Linda Fregni Nagler’s The Hidden Mother collection, I wanted to share them.

‘Since the invention of the camera the desire to record the lives of our children has provided photographers with a steady stream of subjects.’ BBC

Hidden Mother

The photographs in The Hidden Mother collection are Victorian portraits of children, but with their mothers, sometimes eerily, concealed in the background. In the days where exposure times were long (30 seconds or more), mothers were required to keep their children still for long periods, and we all know how difficult that can be. The child/children were the focus of the portraits. This meant the mothers were shrouded under sheets or hidden behind drapes or furniture, seemingly erased. I find it absolutely fascinating. It perhaps gives an insight into the mother’s position/social standing in the Victorian era.

I’ve posted about Recording Baby Milestones and Preserving Memories and how I go about it. It’s wonderful to see how the technology and techniques change but our desire to capture snapshots of our childrens’ lives has remained the same.

The Hidden Mother photos

Hidden Mother

Hidden mother

Hidden mother

Hidden mother


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.

1 Comment

  1. Goodness Fran, I have lots of photos of my Mum and Dad when they were babies. My Dad had lovely blonde curly hair and is dressed in a wooley looking horrible garment.
    Some day I will get them down from the loft. They too looked as if they were photographed in a studio so I must look closer at them to see if I can spot anybody lurking in the background.

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