Susan Barnet


DubyDub2009 (3 months ago)

Ce portrait est vraiment intriguant.

AdrianMalec (3 months ago)

If this is a postmortem photograph it is a very good one. I’m considering the evidence here: – The pose seeming unnatural: it doesn’t look particularly unnatural to me. The photos required some time to expose and so you had to be still for some time – many poses and expressions look unnatural because the subject had to arrange himself/herself in a ‘stable’ configuration. It was difficult to hold a stable smile for the times required.

– Her hand not closing properly as she holds her arm: try mimicking her pose, there’s nothing unnatural about it.

– One of her eyes being slightly more closed : it may be a natural asymmetry in her face. It as much one of her eyes being slightly closed as it is asymmetry in here eye lids. Look at her earrings and you’ll also note that her head is slightly tilted.

– No tension in her neck muscles: what kind of tension would one expect in this woman? It doesn’t look at all unnatural.

– None of the other photos found in this collection appear to be postmortem photographs.

– There may be an argument for this being a postmortem photo in the arrangement of her hair being possibly consistent with being laid horizontally. However, most postmortem photographs were taken with the subjects being upright or mostly upright (and not alone). Further, her earrings would be falling backward. Never mind the difficulty in arranging the camera in the way required. The subject was most likely seated.

– The brightness of the iris of here eye may seem slightly uncanny, but look at the other photos in the set and you’ll find significantly more uncanny photography.

– The only strong argument toward this being a postmortem photo is how still she must have been for such a sharp photo.

Piedmont Fossil · (3 months ago)

I agree. Having been an avid collector of antique images for nearly 30 years and one who has studied the history of early photography, I have seen many death portraits. Other than babies held in their mother’s arms, most have been of the deceased laid in bed as if asleep. A few have been propped up in a chair, but their eyes are usually closed, and if open they have never looked directly into the camera with such intensity as this one. Based on my experience, there is nothing . . .

Let me repeat that; There is NOTHING here that leads me to assume that this is a postmortem photo. However, I am certain that she would have been horrified to know that someone thought she looked dead!

Photo_History (3 months ago) This is indeed a wonderful portrait! Yes, it is an unusually casual pose for a tintype of that period

but she is NOT dead. My current pet peeve is the “They must be dead!” hoards who are infecting the internet. They can find the flimsiest reasons for their certainty. The mere presence of the base of a head rest will convince them that it is a prop “to hold up dead people” or “the eyes are strange”, “or the position is awkward”.

She is indeed a treasure but she is not dead! johncurtisrea (3 months ago) she looks very much alive to me! and has that defiant, crossed arms look

•‿ • (most likely to hold still)…. debcronem (3 months ago)

I agree. I love this portrait because she has such attitude!

pennylrichardsca (2 months ago)

And now she is on an upcycled purse I just made:

Maelström Bordelum (2 months ago)


LadyVenere (2 months ago)

I agree


SE Barnet is an American artist living in London.   Her web-site:


About tidendeamc

Anne-Marie Creamer is a London based artist/curator.

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