Photo of the week - A Danish Lady, 1910
Date: 1910 (probably)
Photographer: Atelier Frem [The Frem Studio]
Provenience: Denmark, unknown town
This photo from 1910 shows a woman in her twenties sitting on a stool typical of photo-studios at this time. The background is neutral but the floor is covered in a vividly patterned carpet.
It is not a particularly fancy photo, the woman is neatly dressed, but not in what could be referred to as expensive clothing. This was the clothing of the modern woman of the time, the one that needed to get around, to have free movement of the body but still look the part of an ordinary member of the society. This is not just shown by her robust shoe that is hinted from under the hem of the stripped skirt but also by the fact that she is dressed in this skirt and blouse. This kind of clothing was preferred by women that led active lives since it meant much less need of a corset and they also escaped the popular S-body shape of the time.
This is not a woman lacking financial means, which can be seen at the close up. She is wearing jewellery (and an engagement ring) and the blouse has quite a lot of fancy needlework of a type popular at the time. And her hair is made into a intricate but at the same time simple do.
There is a handwritten text on the back of the photo that reads (in Danish):
Til Erindring om Dagen paa "Oscarsro", Sommeren 1910.
In English that is: In memory of the day at "Oscarsro", The summer of 1910.
("Oscarsro" is in all probability a house owned by someone in the upper middle classes - A name and -ro was a common way to name houses at this time in Denmark). We do not know what happened at Oscarsro that day, but considering the motive and the prominent way the hand with the engagement-ring is shown - that is not a natural way to hold a hand - it might very well have something to do with the engagement, perhaps a photo taken to give to the fiance.