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Farquhar family photograph album.

England, 1880s
Physical Description:
1 volume (147 photographs in 49 photocollages) : albumen prints, ink drawings ; volume 31 x 30 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2019 32
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
The art of photocollage, with compositions assembled from photographs, drawings, and watercolors, grew in prevalence in the 1860s and 1870s. In Britain, the works -- at turns comic, whimsical, or witty -- were usually compiled by women of Victorian high society. The art form is described in: Siegel, Elizabeth. Playing with pictures: the art of Victorian photocollage (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, in association with Yale University Press, 2009).
Bound in black leather, the initials "T.F." (or "J.F.") stamped in gold on the front cover; original spine now lacking.
The album includes 49 photocollaged compositions, combining albumen prints with drawings in black ink, along with one drawing without a photograph. The photocollages vary in complexity: the most elaborate include a theater scene, an illustrated auction catalogue, and a sculptor's studio. The skill of the compiler is displayed to effect in scenes that involve multiple figures arranged with careful attention to the way in which each person or face is angled perfectly to match their position, whether looking into a picture of sliding down a balustrade.
It is probable that the album is connected to the Farquhar (or Townsend-Farquhar) family, of Berkeley Square, London. The initials "T.F." (alternatively "J.F.") are stamped in gold on the front cover. Leaf 26 names Gilbert Farquhar alongside the actor Arthur Cecil, in the play Millionaire (by G.W. Godfrey, shown at the court Theatre in 1883). Gilbert Edward Farquhar (1850-1920) was an actor in the London theater from about 1883 to 1906. He was the brother Sir Robert Townsend Farquhar (1841-1924). A portrait on leaf 34 is captioned "Ernest Farquhar Esq." His relationship to other prominent members of the family is unclear.
Subject Terms:
Cabinet photographs.
Cecil, Arthur, 1843-1896.
Clothing and dress -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Domestic space -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Farquhar family.
Farquhar, Ernest.
Farquhar, Gilbert Edward, 1850-1920.
Theater -- England -- London
Photocollages (photographic compositions)
Collages (visual works)
Family portraits.
Albumen prints.
Photograph albums.
Ink drawings.

  • [1] A woman seated at a desk, with portrait of herself
  • [2] Portrait of a young girl
  • [3] Nine portraits presented as miniatures within a larger frame
  • [4] Three portraits above a drawing of a girl and boy in a boat, among reeds and swans
  • [5] Street organist
  • [6] Playing cards, dice, and chips, with advertisement for De La Rue & Co. (the latter bearing a portrait of a woman)
  • [7] Scene on the front steps of a domestic dwelling, with four figures and a dog
  • [8] Portrait of a young man, with drawings of butterflies
  • [9] Three portraits of women, with drawing of swallows diving to catch bugs on the surface of a pond or stream
  • [10] A huntsman stalking deer in an alpine scene
  • [11] Portrait of a young woman, with drawing of lilly-of-the-valley
  • [12] Hansom cab with three heads: a driver, a young girl (passenger), and a young boy (on the pavement)
  • [13] Staves of notated music, with six small portraits in the place of notes
  • [14] Portrait of a young man, surrounded by scenes of nature and travel
  • [15] Portrait of a bearded man, with leafy border
  • [16] Full-length studio portrait of a man, within a drawing of lavish domestic interior
  • [17] Ice-skating, with photographs for eight of the figures depicted
  • [18] Five independent portraits of children and adults, with leafy border to portrait at center
  • [19] Portrait of a bearded man, encircled by seven drawings of horses and one kitten
  • [20] Drawing of a man with knife, fighting a bear (without photograph)
  • [21] Portrait of a young girl, within a frame of timbers (?)
  • [22] Breakfast table scene (with three figures), with drawing to complete the domestic interior
  • [23] An artist's studio, with ten portrait photographs as busts or sculptures (one of disembodied hands), with (at bottom) two dogs and man on horseback
  • [24] Portrait of a bearded man in a fez, with drawing of algae
  • [25] Portrait of an Englishman (?) with sword and a North African (?) man, before a drawn scene of Roman (?) ruins, and a camel.
  • [26] Portraits of Arthur Cecil (as Ned Guyon in the Millionaire), Gilbert Farquhar, and an unidentified actress, presented as sandwichboards worn by three men on a pavement
  • [27] Five portraits of men in a horse-drawn carriage, within drawing depicting race day crowds in a grandstand
  • [28] Seaside scene, with portraits of a woman, girl, boy and dog
  • [29] Hunting scene, with portrait of one man on horseback and another fallen in a ditch
  • [30] Portraits of two men in a courtyard or square, one man in police officer's dress, the other a Scottish highlander with horse
  • [31] Photograph of a painted portrait of a woman, with drawing of a cat carrying a rifle and bird
  • [32] Portrait of a lady with drawing of two beetles in grass
  • [33] A library, with 12 portraits (including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) on a partition screen
  • [34] An auction catalog, open to page bearing a studio portrait of Ernest Farquhar dressed as a Canadian (?) frontiersman, with rifle
  • [35] Portrait of a woman, with foliage
  • [36] Drawings of three banknotes, each incorporating a portrait
  • [37] Five portraits, including three young women, one young man, and a child, with profile drawings of figures (primarily children?) at play
  • [38] Comic scene with four portraits, the a photo of a boy superimposed on a dog
  • [39] Farmyard scene, with group portrait of four adolescents
  • [40] Four portraits of men, with five ornithological drawings (including ostrich)
  • [41] The front of a house, with an infant and three women, one holding a tennis racket
  • [42] Portrait of man, with a river scene
  • [43] Portrait of a man in uniform, with scene of monkeys in a zoo
  • [44] Portraits of a woman, man, and dog, on the deck of a ship
  • [45] Theater scene, the stage filled with photographs of several groups, and a man and woman (bride and groom)
  • [46] Depictions of three cabinet cards, with photographers credited as Downey, John Edw..., and S. Eastham (the latter at Southport)
  • [47] Portrait of a woman, positioned as the mirror on a lady's dresser
  • [48] Portraits of two men, above a drawing of a bird of prey catching a rabbit
  • [49] Portrait of a woman, framed within a window and the exterior of a house, with birds
  • [50] Drawing room, with two portraits of women (one framed on the wall) and two cats.

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