ERIC Number: ED250221
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Images of Women in American Stereographs, 1870-1920.
Schulz, Constance B.
American stereographs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are discussed in the context of the Victorian stylized stereotype of women which they so graphically capture. Stereograph cards and early motion pictures from the Library of Congress were the major sources studied. Stereograph cards were as ubiquitous in their time as television is today. The images popularized in stereograph cards, and later adopted by the more public medium of the movies, made possible the visual realization of America's most pervasive and enduring stereotypes. The Victorian views of women emphasized a stereotype of domesticity, passivity, moral superiority, sexual purity, and motherly sanctity and sacrifice. Underlying this stereotype, however, was another perception of women as subtly sexual, having a sensuous underside to their nature that they used in a calculated way to appeal to the baser instincts in men. Borrowing from both of these perceptions, the stereotype of women illustrated in the stereograph cards can be described as both that of "Virgin and Vamp." Specific examples are discussed, and reproductions of the slides originally shown with the paper are appended. (RM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nineteenth Century; Stereographs; Stereoscopes; Twentieth Century; Victorian Age
Note: Paper presented at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women (6th, North Hampton, MA, June 1-3, 1984). Portions are in light type; Appendix contains photocopies of stereographs that have very poor reproducibility.