Portrait of a Girl with her Deer

Not currently on view

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of a Girl with her Deer

Artist/Maker:

Unknown maker, American

Culture:

American

Date:

about 1854

Medium:

Daguerreotype

Dimensions:

6.9 × 9 cm (2 11/16 × 3 9/16 in.)

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Where in America was this charming study made? The animal, identified as a black-tailed deer, is found only in the Western states, while the girl's dress, rugged and protective, suggests the harsh climate of the upper plains. The fenced enclosure may be a corral, with sturdy farm buildings out of focus in the background. Keeping the fawn still for the daguerreotype's long exposure, with its head turned as if posing for the camera and its ears alertly upright, was a splendid achievement for the girl. The tin she holds undoubtedly contained some treat to reward the animal for its obedience.

Exhibitions
The Art of the Daguerreotype (April 14 to July 12, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 14 to July 12, 1998
Useful, sweet and alike a museum: Animals looking at us (October 21, 2005 to January 15, 2006)
  • Museum Folkwang (Essen), October 21, 2005 to January 15, 2006
In Focus: Animalia (May 26 to October 18, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 26 to October 18, 2015
Bibliography