About Face

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While it is not particularly common, sometimes photographers have taken pictures of their subjects from the back.  Sometimes  it's been done for artistic  reasons and in other cases it's to show something specific.  Occasionally one can recognize a person whose image has been taken from the rear.  Often, however, the picture could be of anybody.



This carte de visite by Percival, New York, is a rather nice composition of a man reading.  In this case, it happens to show him from the rear.



In this particular case the photograph shows  Johnnie Weismuller and his wife Bobbie.   I don't think that anyone could have recognized them without being told who they were.  (6 x 8 inch International Newsreel Photo March 14, 1931)



Would anyone possibly be able to guess that this is movie star Lucille Ball taken from the rear to show her hair style created for the RKO Radio Musical, 
Seven Days' Leave ?  Not even a diehard fan would probably  know.  (7 1/4 x 9 inch silver print by Ernest A. Bachrach)


Yogi Berra. Baseball Player. New York Yankees Playing Right Field. July 29, 1958. 




Joe Louis, boxer 1935



     

This was the first carte de visite of it's type that I'd ever seen.  I believe that it was created as a visual joke.  It made me laugh as I hope it will you.


The images below are carte de visite size.  They have numbers written in ink on the left side.  There is no indication as to who the photographer is or where they were made.  They were obviously created  to show the native costumes of a particular country and region.  This isn't uncommon.  What is unusual, however, is that the images of the front and the back of the costumes are mounted back to back on the card.  

     


     


     


     


     


      


        


Images  from the museum collection are not available for sale