Our Man in Tver

Introduction

There are always unfamiliar faces in a family photo collection – strangers in a crowd scene or forgotten for one reason or another. But the unknowns aren’t condemned to obscurity; they can be ushered from the wings into the spotlight by being, in a manner of speaking, adopted.

Epigraph

From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star. A sort of umbilical cord links the body of the photographed thing to my gaze: light, though impalpable, is here a carnal medium, a skin I share with anyone who has been photographed.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (1980)

chapter one
Chapter 1 – Our Man in Tver

chapter two
Chapter 2 – British Cousins

chapter three
Chapter 3 – Cry Baby

chapter four
Chapter 4 – Paterfamilias

chapter five
Chapter 5 – Great Aunt

chapter six
Chapter 6 – The Cinephile

photo credits
1. Ruth Hennessy, Kalinin, Soviet Union, 1971
2. Eleanor Hohman, Oxford, England, 1958
3. Eleanor Hohman, Sacré-Cœur, Paris, France, 1958
4. Eleanor Hohman, Colosseum, Rome, Italy, 1958
5. Ruth Hennessy, Black Hills, South Dakota, July 1962
6. Ruth Hennessy, Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, tbd