Photo of the week - Ada Wennlund

Ada Wennlund
Date: Around 1900
Photographer: Anna Nordlöw-Björk
Sitter: Ada Wennlund
Provenience: Gävle, (Gefle with old spelling), Sweden

Ada was born in 1881 in Stockholm, the older sister of Ragnhild Wennlund - who is my maternal grand-mother's mother. She was in the family referred to as "Little Ada", to keep her apart from her cousin Ada von Böös. She was later to marry the brother of Ragnhild's husband and take on the surname of Ringholm.

It is not the best of scans, but the photograph in itself is quite nice and interesting - rather solemn in the depicting of the young woman. Her clothes are simple, but simple in cut only, there is no reason to suspect it was cheap in any way at all, she was a girl from a well off middle class home. The sleeves of the blouse are extremely narrow and contrast to the big ruffled collar. The collar seems to have been made of some kind of very sheer fabric, but probably not lace on the collar itself. On the other hand there is some lace hinted at the neck. It is also possible there are some kind of lace trimming at the end of the sleeves, hard to tell for sure, but there is something there. The skirt has nothing extra added, and seems to have had the same colour as the blouse - at least it is the same kind of lightness to the two pieces. To this clothing are added the extra touches of both a necklace - a medallion - and a thick bracelet.

The hair is the most extravagant part of the picture. The hair has obviously been curled to make those rather hard, formal shapes on the top of her head. A few curls are left to soften the frame of the face, but the rest is pulled back and up, making it look like the hair is almost trying to defy the laws of gravity - and since this was long before the use of hair-spray that is quite an accomplishment.

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