FastCompany Magazine

The official Tumblr of Fast Company.

These Victorian Baby Pictures Are Filled With Hidden People
Why didn’t the mothers simply pose with their children? According to Linda Fregni Nagler, editor of The Hidden Mother, a new book that collects 1,002 photographs (from daguerrotypes to cartes de visite, and cabinet cards) in which a mother is hiding somewhere in the portrait of her progeny,


it reflects one of the core instincts of motherhood: to deny oneself in deference to the child. In the case of the photographs compiled in The Hidden Mother, Nagler notes that mothers have often opted to hide themselves in order to immortalize a child who might not live to be the subject of another photo, owing to the high infant mortality rates of the period.

These Victorian Baby Pictures Are Filled With Hidden People

Why didn’t the mothers simply pose with their children? According to Linda Fregni Nagler, editor of The Hidden Mother, a new book that collects 1,002 photographs (from daguerrotypes to cartes de visite, and cabinet cards) in which a mother is hiding somewhere in the portrait of her progeny,

it reflects one of the core instincts of motherhood: to deny oneself in deference to the child. In the case of the photographs compiled in The Hidden Mother, Nagler notes that mothers have often opted to hide themselves in order to immortalize a child who might not live to be the subject of another photo, owing to the high infant mortality rates of the period.