The collector: Lisa Wood, artist and jewellery designer, San Francisco.
The collection: Photo postcards of girls on donkeys.
The story behind the collection...
This collection started about 5 years ago when I came across my first photo postcard of a young girl on a donkey taken around 1910. She was clothed in a beautiful dress, a big bow in her hair and shiny black boots that buttoned up the side. I loved the juxtaposition of the girl dressed in her Sunday best on a seemingly stinky old donkey. As I collected more, I started noticing the surroundings: various homes, freshly paved streets, and more specifically- the donkeys themselves. I noticed that most had a circular dark patch on an inner front leg. To this day, I have no idea what those dark patches are about.
I also began thinking about the photographers. Most of these images are postcard photos taken by itinerant photographers who also traveled with ponies, goats and carts as additional props, carryalls and transportation. Their postcard-format cameras produced pictures on the spot; most people did not have cameras in the early 1900's and they jumped at the chance to have their photos taken.
I've always had a fascination with old photographs, especially photos that show a close bond with animals. I'm drawn to the Victorian lifestyle and I use photos of that time period in my artwork and jewelry. I have collected over 100 photos of girls on donkeys, and as a collector, it's a wonderful way to satisfy my inner hoarder. Eventually, I'd like to make a book of these snapshots, but I don't know if many people would be as captivated by them as I.
All images are from the personal collection of Lisa Wood and used with kind permission.
Lisa's website: www.lisawoodcuriosities.com