FAMILY OF THREE ON THE ROCKS IN NEW YORK CITY

This cabinet card features a terrific family portrait that may have been taken outside the photographer’s studio. Take a close look at the facial expressions of each of the family members. Dad looks very intense and displeased. Sonny boy is a chip off of the old block. His expression can best be described as sour. Mom looks like she is a lot more fun. She appears to be holding back a smile and has a twinkle in her eyes. The photographer of this image is H. Herbert Sidman. His studio was located at 147 East 116th Street in New York City, New York. Advertising printing on the reverse of the photograph boasts that the studio does “Out-door Work” in addition to the standard “Interiors and Flash-Light Pictures”. If this photograph was indeed taken outside, perhaps it was taken in Central Park. The park was certainly in existence at the time that this photograph was taken.  Central Park is a public park located in the center of Manhattan. It was opened in 1857 on 843 acres and and expansion, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux began in 1858 and was completed in 1873. Research yielded little information about H. H. Sidman. The American Amateur Photographer (1904) carried a story that announced the death of  Sidman and described him as a “well known architectural photographer”. Other references were found confirming Sidman was very involved in the field of architectural photography.

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