Newark, New Jersey, 1912

From roughly 1860 to 1920[1][2] painted photography backdrops were a standard feature of early photography studios. Generally of rustic or quasi-classical design, but sometimes presenting a bourgeoisie trompe-l'œil,[3] they eventually fell out of fashion with the advent of the Brownie and Kodak cameras which brought photography to the masses with concurrent changes to public sensibility. Inasmuch as they were produced for six decades by local artisans, they can provide important clues to the provenance of old family photographs for genealogical research,[4][5][6] and their staged influence lives on in "old-timey" photography sets.[7][8] Furthermore, they are of some interest to specialized collectors of the history of photography.[9]



  1. ^ "The Painted Backdrop Tintype Art // BlogCatalog". Archived from the original on 2010-07-24.
  2. ^ "old time religion by Jim Linderman: Art Tintype Book The Painted Backdrop by Jim Linderman". 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Antique Photography & Photo Collecting - Timebinder".
  4. ^ "Backgrounds in Old Photos - Family Tree". 22 January 2008. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  5. ^ " Home Page".
  6. ^ "Dating Old Photographs". Archived from the original on 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  7. ^ "Ashley Nostalgia". Ashley Nostalgia.
  8. ^ "Ol' Time Studio Backdrops - RetouchPRO". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  9. ^ "From Ambrotypes to Stereoviews, 150 Years of Photographs".