George Fuller (1822-1884) was a professional painter when he traveled to Alabama in the years just before the Civil War. This painting of a child having her hair combed as she plays with a doll was undoubtedly a product of Fuller's experiences in the South. Both figures wear clothing of the mid-19th century. The "nurse" in the title was actually a "nursemaid" charged with caring for a white family's children. She may have been a servant, or, more likely, a slave.