This cabinet card has so much going for it! From the lovely studio backdrop, to the girl’s big eyed, faraway stare, to the awkward pose made to show off her dress bustle (and wow, what a bustle!) Bustles reached extreme proportions in the mid 1880s.
The back of the card is just as interesting. The artwork offers a glimpse into the sitter’s view when she approached Hartley’s Studio at 309 W. Madison St. in Chicago, Illinois. And what a clever motto, “Cloudy Days Good as Sunshine.”
The sitter is Martha Miriam Sherlock. Martha was born in 1860 in Illinois. She was a teacher in the 1880s, married George Herzberg when she was 33, had children and died in Texas, aged 84. I can’t say Martha led an uninteresting life, but I can say that I didn’t find anything as interesting as what I discovered when researching Hartley’s Studio. Let’s turn our attention to the photographer, Charles F. Hartley.