Friday, August 17, 2007

Family Photos

For many months after our move, the walls on our new apartment were relatively bare. It was only a matter of weeks ago that my mother went around hanging up various photos, paintings, and drawings. What follows is a sampling from the living room, which contains -- apart from paintings and other odds and ends -- plenty of old photos and portraits of my family and my ancestors (mostly from my father's side of the family).

To begin with, since I intend to do this in chronological order, here are three portraits of Moses Mendelssohn (my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather). They were taken at various ages, as you can see. Mendelssohn, by the way, seems to have experienced the proverbial rise from anonymity and poverty to renown and influence. Not "only in America," apparently.

Moses Mendelssohn (younger)

Moses Mendelssohn Engraving

Moses Mendelssohn Portrait

The next photo depicts my great-great-grandfather (a banker) and his family. The eldest daughter is my great-grandmother, and it is through her marriage that our last name changed from Mendelssohn to what it is now.

Family Portrait

I'm not sure whether the following photo was taken before or after the last, nor am I sure of the identity of the subject. Still, I wanted to include it because of the expression. She has the air of a veteran of the theatre, no? Perhaps that is only my impression . . .


Next are two photos of my great-grandfather: one with his wife and one alone. By the way, I'm pretty sure those are Lederhosen in the first photo . . . and a cigarette in the second. Shocking! The cigarette, that is. The Lederhosen are not so shocking (though rather amusing, I find) because my great-grandfather was Austrian.



What follows is a photo of my father (as a child) with his family, presumably taken somewhere in British Columbia. They moved around quite a bit, so I'm not sure of the exact location. The white-haired woman in the back is my great-grandmother (seen in previous photos as a girl and as a young woman).

Family Photo

Finally, here is a photo of all four of my grandparents at my parents' wedding.


What I have learned: It is difficult taking photos of pictures on a wall. Even without flash, there are far too many troublesome reflections if one can't control the lighting in some way. I ended up taking a lot of photos at an angle. That wouldn't have been a problem, except that I only discovered the delightful "skew" feature on Adobe Photoshop after having edited several photos.

Speaking of which . . .

Note: All photos were edited using Adobe Photoshop. :o)

Another Note: All my posts lately (I use the word "lately" loosely) have revolved around pictures. There is a simple reason: If I try to write a proper post with paragraphs, I spend hours on it and don't end up finishing. . . . On second thought, maybe I just like pictures. If I can add them, why not do it? Still, I would prefer to have a text-only post every now and again, if only for those with slow computers or slow internet connections. (Another pointless resolution that is bound to gather dust in a corner somewhere . . .)


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