title: A Durable Memento

Unidentified young womanspacer Unidentified young woman

This young woman exhibits the pose that Augustus Washington clearly favored for his portraits of young women and fashionable matrons. Rather than assuming a strictly frontal pose, the subject turns almost imperceptibly to one side, while inclining her head ever so slightly in the opposite direction. With one forearm and hand resting on the draped table beside her, the young woman poses with her other hand in her lap, in this instance holding a daguerreotype case. Although Washington's female sitters are most often pictured with a daguerreotype case in one hand, several of his subjects hold other small objects or bunches of delicate flowers.

Augustus Washington
Sixth-plate daguerreotype, circa 1850
Image courtesy Photographic History Collection
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.


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