(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Frances and Mary Allen were pioneers in the field of art photography. Their subject choices and techniques set them apart from the formal studio portraits of the period. Artistry and patience combined to convey an aura of intimacy and spontaneity despite long exposure times and other technological limitations of the time. They often used the camera to invite the viewer into a carefully choreographed scene or story. In this case, the sisters captured the Victorian ideal of female friendship when they dressed these women in 1860s-era clothing and posed them exchanging "confidences" in the doorway of a Deerfield, Massachusetts, home.