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Brumidi Photograph Album


Brumidi Photograph Album
by Lola Germon Brumidi
Leather, Paper, 1860 ca. - 1880
Overall measurement
      Height: 11.5 inches  (29.21 cm)
      Width:  9.5 inches  (24.13 cm)
      Depth: 3 inches  (7.62 cm)
Cat. no. 11.00012.000

Photographic albums enjoyed exceptional popularity in the Victorian era. They were used as memoirs and travelogues and often included images of prominent public figures. Many commercially produced albums came with pre-cut decorative windows to hold cartes de visite—a popular and affordable form of photography often used as calling cards because of their small size. Mildred Thompson inherited such an album from her great grand-aunt, Lola Germon Brumidi, Constantino Brumidi's third wife. Thompson donated the album to the U.S. Senate in 1987. The large, leather-bound book contains 122 cartes de visite. Images of President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth (who performed on stage with Effie Germon, one of Brumidi's relatives), Montgomery C. Meigs, Jefferson Davis, and Stephen Douglas can be found next to more personal images of Brumidi's son Laurence, who matures from a child to a young man as the album pages progress.