Bread and Milk

Bread and Milk

A young girl with lace cap is seated on a ladderback chair outside while balancing a bowl between her legs. In 1894, an earlier study with the same title was given to the photographers “towheaded nephew Carl, about to swallow a spoonful of gruel.” (1.)

In the nineteenth century, it was unheard of for a commercial photographer to portray a child eating. But once women entered the profession, they looked for beauty in everyday life in and around their homes, resulting in compositions of domestic life. This photograph was acclaimed as a fine example of what women could do with the camera. It was reproduced in “Baby Photography for Amateurs,” Photo-Era, October 1900, and in “Women Photographers and Their Work,” The Delineator, November 1901. – Suzanne L. Flynt: From Introduction: Photo Essay: The Allen Sisters: “Foremost Women Photographers in AmericaHistorical Journal of Massachusetts • Fall 2009

1. published photo: see Juan C. Abel, “Women Photographers and Their Work,” The Delineator 58, no. 5 (November 1901) : 747-51; also reproduced in “Baby Photography for Amateurs,” Photo-Era, October 1900. Carl Allen: 1892-1971.

Bread and Milk

Image Dimensions11.2 x 9.0 cm laid down on modern card

Support Dimensions13.0 x 9.1 cm

Exhibitions | Collections

Modern print of this image of the young girl from glass plate negative reproduced as Plate 7 on p. 86 for the volume The Allen Sisters Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920. Print and glass negative 4.5 x 4.0” held at Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA  1996.14.120. The Association further states that “A print with this title is listed in the sisters’ catalogs for 1904, 1905, 1909, 1911, 1913 and 1914.”


Purchased in April, 2021 for this archive from on online seller who stated “my father acquired it from an antiques dealer in southeastern Pennsylvania in the 1990s or early 2000s.”