Friday, February 5, 2010

What A Surprise!

I found a vintage photo behind another one inside a frame!

One of my ongoing projects is to take all of my original photos, digitize them, print copies, and create a photo collage on the wall.

I definitely want to preserve the originals for posterity, so those won't be hanging on the wall, but instead will be preserved in archival materials.

But the question arose as to what to do with a photo inside an original frame. Do I scan the photo within the frame and print that? Or do I remove the photo from the frame scan just the picture and then print it?

When in doubt, ask someone else who knows. So I did. I asked Denise over at The Family Curator blog. She was quick to reply with her lengthy and detailed advice. I followed what she said exactly.

The photo is of my mother when she was a little girl. I don't know exactly how old she was and can only assume it was taken somewhere in New York where she was raised. At some point in time, before she passed away, she did tell me that the frame was handmade by a first grader named Gerard Snowver. He had a terrible crush on her and gave it to her as a gift. We named our rabbit after him (Gerard lived at least eight years, the rabbit, that is).

First, I was to scan the photo in the frame. Here's the result:
Next, remove the photo from the frame and scan that. Here's the result:Surprisingly, on the backside of the photo in my grandmother's penmanship is this:And so my mother was five years old at the time the photo was taken and they were living at 30 5th Ave., New York City to be precise! At this point, it is premature to do the "genealogy happy dance" because underneath this photo, I found another photo of my mother:This one was folded to fit inside the frame. Nothing was written on the back. I do remember seeing this as a child and, therefore, I know it was my mother.

I've decided to make a print of the photograph within the frame, put it into another frame under glass to hang on the wall. The carving on the original wooden frame has so much character and interest that I would hate to leave it out.

Thank you so much Denise!

So, NOW I can do a genealogy happy dance!!!


  1. Thank you for writing me with this intriguing project, Joanne. Aren't you glad you opened up the frame? You really struck gold, and I am glad I could help with a few ideas, but it was really your good instincts that got it started.

  2. Thank you for sharing your adventure.


  3. Oh what a wonderful surprise Joanne!! I too am working towards creating a collage/gallery of family photos that will be hung in my long hallway. It is taking me awhile but will be worth it. I love that all will be in view and not buried in a box somewhere. I think framing the frame and photo of your grandmother is an excellent idea! What a way to honor both. Keep us posted as to how it's going, would love to hear. Thank you so much for sharing this! Denise is so wonderful!

  4. Awesome! I really enjoy hearing about fun surprises. It looks like Denise gave you some good advice. I think the scan without the frame came out better, but you did a good job scanning the frame too, as that is part of the story.

  5. What a treasure! Or should I say treasures?

    I love the fact that living in the "digital age," we can scan and play around with the treasures that we find. I love the frame, especially since it's an integral part of the story. It's also great that you could separately scan the photo. You can see some of the surrounding details which add to the character of the picture.

  6. Surprise treasure :-) I've started organising my old photos, and Denise's site is going to be very useful for archiving tips for me too