AB: Severa – My Likeness Taken

(This is an entry in the Annotated Bibliography.)

Severa, Joan L. My Likeness Taken: Daguerreian Portraits in America. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2005.

This book is a follow-up to Severa’s previous book of photographs, containing only daguerreotypes rather than other varieties of early photograph, and thus covering only from the early 1840s through the early 1860s. It is slightly smaller than Severa’s previous book, but still very substantial. There is a foreword by Matthew R. Isenburg, which discusses the history of the daguerreotype and the process by which such images were created. Unlike in Severa’s earlier book, the images here are reproduced in true color, a “sepia” tone which is sometimes hand-tinted. It is a beautiful resource, and invaluable for studying clothing of the early photographic period, and even a bit earlier, as some styles that were photographed in the beginning of the 1840s appear to be quite late 1830s in nature. The book is not instructional. It contains full-color-printed images of generally monochrome sepia images, but all color is reproduced true to the originals rather than rendered in grayscale. There is a “A Short Bibliography” as well as a list of contributors, a glossary, and an index.

Also by Joan L. Severa:

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