Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 71

Price Realized: $ 1,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 200 - $ 300
Matthews, Kate (1870-1956)
Signed Silver Gelatin Photograph of Rebecca Porter (d. 1921) as "Mom Beck."

Black-and-white image with background wash applied by hand, matted in a folder with gilt rough-deckle edges, signed by Matthews in pencil on the mat, titled in ink below, "Rebecca Porter, 'Mom Beck' of the Little Colonel, Annie Fellows Johnston. She belonged to Edwin and Mary Johnson Dade Conway, grandparents of Miss Lee Lewis," some spots on Porter's apron filled in with pencil, pale reverse matte burn, generally good, 10 1/2 x 7 in. overall.

Porter, Matthews, and Johnston all lived in Pewee Valley, Kentucky at the turn of the 19th century. This portrait unites the three women's work as they each contributed something to Johnston's book series, The Little Colonel, whose characters were based on real people. Even the photographer made her way into the stories. Porter who born into slavery in Virginia. As Mom Beck, she cares for the titular white child of the series. She passed away in 1921 in Louisville, Kentucky.