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Oyster Girl & Lightwood Boy
Date: ca. 1875-1880
Artist and Related People:
Dimensions: Image (size of each image): 3 1/8 x 3 1/8 in. (8 x 7.9 cm) Paper: 3 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (8 x 15.6 cm) Mount: 3 7/16 x 6 15/16 in. (8.7 x 17.6 cm)
Medium: Albumen print stereograph
Credit Line: Gift of Daniel Cowin, 1990
Description: Like the stereograph of "Sweeps" (424.1990), this staged studio image plays on the exotic and humorous aspects of African American child labor. Here, a boy and girl are engaged in different forms of low-level manual labor, turned to the side as they carry their loads to their destination. The image's title defines the subjects by their tasks-carrying wood and oysters-and their youth consolidates the perception of blacks as well-suited for menial work even as children. By dressing the boy and girl as adults and using skillful composition, the image presents black labor as a source of sentimental and aesthetic contemplation.
Accession Number: 519.1990