Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Comparison - The Backdrop

One of the cool old pictures that we have of my family is if my Great Great Grandpa Jetze Broersma's family, taken in the Netherlands probably around 1911.

Jetze Broersma Family ca 1911

This portrait has some unique stuff. Everything looks pretty symmetrical as far as people go. My GG Aunt Dieuwke Broersma on the far left has her arm on an empty chair. They might have been able to do without that, but it does seem to balance out the rail on the opposite side that my G Grandpa Laas Broersma is sitting on. And behind him are some bushes and trees that seem to fade away towards the left, and what looks like a river flowing nearby. Maybe the studio has a few different backgrounds painted and depending on what type of picture you wanted they would move you to the left or right. Since this was a wider portrait I guess they just got everything from a curtain on the left, to blank in the middle, to a forrest on the right.

One thing that you can say about it is that it makes for a unique picture setting. I didn't think much of it until I saw another one that had a similar pose and furniture.

Tjeerd Harmens Andringa Family ca 1902

This photo of the Tjeerd Harmens Andringa family is out of the book "Andringa" and I believe it is from around 1902. It has the same rail on the right side. And the chair in the far left looks extremely similar to the one that Jetze Broersma is sitting in the other one. Just look at the knots in the legs and the diamond shape on the cross bar. To me this looks like it could be in the same studio based on the furniture.

Then I was forwarded this portrait that has another Broersma in it, Antje Broersma (cousin of Jetze Broersma, center with white hair covering).

Johannes Werkhoven & Antje Broersma Family ca 1915

This one has the same background as the first one, with trees on the right and curtain on the left. The chair that Johannes Werkhoven (man in the middle) seems to be the same style that Dieuwke had her arm on in the first one. Based on the the 2 sons having wives, I would estimate this picture was taken around the same time as the others, somewhere around 1914. The youngest son Klaas (on the left) was married in 1914 and this might even have been taken on that occasion.

This last one was taken in the same place as the first, almost certainly. Most of the people in it are the same, Jetze Broersma's family at Tjerk Broersma's wedding in 1916. See the trees on the right and the river? I don't see the curtain on the left, but the exposure on this one doesn't seem to be as good so I don't know what's going on on the left. Also the bench on the far right seems to be the same as in the previous picture on the left

Broersma - Jack & Betty Wedding Family 1916

So anyway, I thought that it was pretty interesting that these photos could possibly be from the same studio. Now what would be really awesome is if that studio was still in business and someone could go there and look at the archives of photos from way back. I'm guessing that there were not a lot of photo studios in that part of the Netherlands so many people would use the same one.

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