Pam Photo Post: Early cat comics?
I have long been interested in the period where the carefully arranged photo album page morphs into these photo collages done with negatives and artful printing. I was very excited about an exhibit a few years ago, Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage, which originated at the Chicago Art Institute (’09) and made a stop here in New York at the Met. (The catalogue is still available, for a price, on Amazon.) It was an amazing opportunity to see the best of these, many featuring skilled watercolor and ink drawings, most often executed by woman. However, there is a lot to be said for the less spectacular examples too. Just look at these hard-working kitties on the USS Mississippi!
To date this is the only one in my collection and the only cat one of this kind I have ever seen, despite some pretty thorough ongoing scouring. You do find the whole, elaborate collages reproduced on Victorian or later period cards, and I have seen a number of cat themed ones that way. While I have been tempted by early albums and whole pages from albums, I tend to think my limited storage is not the best home for these fragile artifacts, but I do find them fascinating – windows into whole lost worlds. Of course, if one devoted to cats came along I assume I would change my mind!