Pennsylvania and France: 1890s-1910s. Five Cabinet Card Photographs and one Mounted Photograph taken at the L. Vasseur Studio in Paris. Generally fine condition, one cabinet card with chips to mount. Near Fine. Item #List1805
A small but very compelling group of images recovered from a family collection, documenting an African-American family from Pennsylvania. Five of the images bear no identification, one states on verso: “Mrs. Harriet Oskins / died at the age / of 112.” Most of the photographs are taken at various Pennsylvania locations including Philadelphia, Allentown, New Lebanon and Lehighton. We find record of an A.H. and McCleary Oskins and family listed as African-American in the Philadelphia census records from 1910.
Of particular note is a photograph of an African- American serviceman and presumed family member taken at a Paris studio. It’s a particularly striking image, and the first formal portrait of an African-American taken in a French studio during WWI that we have encountered.
Overall a visually compelling and important group, with the Paris photo of particular rarity, worthy of preservation as a family collection despite the limited information on the specific subjects.