Unknown Parlor

R2014.2.27
Ida Crie Collection
Courtesy of Alice Knight

Like many turn-of-the-century female photographers, one way that Ida Crie used her camera was to provide a view of domestic interior spaces like this parlor in an unidentified Maine home. In the Victorian era of separate and gendered spheres, the family home was often a woman’s domain, and much time and effort was put into crafting this space. Parlors, the room where company would often sit, were spaces that reflected a family’s refined tastes and interests. They were also a space to display one’s possessions, handiwork, books, curios, and works of art. It was common for middle and upper class families of this era to bring the natural world into the parlor with plants, pressed flowers, and even stuffed animals like the owl peering from its perch atop of the mantle. Elements of this parlor, such as the marine painting and the fishing net, have a decidedly nautical flair and may represent the homeowner’s ties to the sea.