Adelicia and Pauline Acklen with a book
Photographer: Augustin Aimé Joseph Le Jeune
Backmark: Levitsky 22 Rue di Choiseul
Place: Paris, France
Provenance: Adelicia to her daughter Pauline Acklen Locket, unknown, purchased by Belmont Mansion Association from a photograph dealer in Pennsylvania
2016.01.51 BMA purchase
This is one of two known photographs made this day of Adelicia and Pauline. In the other carte-de-visite (CDV), only known through twentieth century copies, Pauline is looking directly at the camera
In this photograph Adelicia is wearing a Walking or Visiting dress. This dress would have been worn while out and about during the day, whether visiting a friend or shopping. This photograph displays Adelicia’s adherence to the latest trends. During the mid-1860’s, emphasis on the skirt began shift to the back of the dress using more fabric, embellishments, bustling, and trains. This photograph features each of these slight changes in silhouette in the gathering of fabric at the back and the use of embroidered folds of fabric just visible from the angle of the photograph. Adelicia’s wealth can also be perceived from examining both her and her daughter's dress. The extensive use of embroidered ribbon and fringe embellishments would be both fashionable and expensive. The more embellishments, the higher the cost of the materials and the more labor it took to make the dress. Having a skirt that was trimmed in four layers of embroidered ribbon would have not only been impressionable, but would have also displayed her wealth. Most likely both of the dresses were purchased in Paris.
This CDV was made at the Levitsky Studio, 22 Rue de Choiseul in Paris. Count Sergei Lvovich Levitsky (Russian, 1819-1898) was one of Europe’s most important photographers and innovators. In 1864, when he left Paris, he sold his studio to Augustin Aimé Joseph Le Jeune (French, act. 1864 –ca. 1885) who continued operating under the Levitsky name.
Grace M. Alle