i love this photo, #29

© Leilani Wertens

I love this photo by the Chicago photographer Leilani Wertens, from her series, Forget Me Not. There's an interesting statement about the project on Leilani's website, and she had this to say about the image, above:

"People often ask me if the woman in the portrait is my grandmother or my mother. No, we're not related, but we do share the same dark, wavy hair and large brown eyes. This is her story, or what I've managed to piece together of it:

She lived for over forty years in a brick, 2-story townhouse in Hyde Park, an affluent neighborhood near the University of Chicago. Several of her neighbors that stopped by the estate sale mentioned a connection with Marshall Field's, once the city's premiere luxury department store. The stories differed, one said she was a worker there and loved going to a special employees-only merchandise boutique to stock up on the store's goods, another said she was just an avid shopper. Either way, she was definitely a hoarder - three closets of the house were crammed full of dresses, a majority with the tags still attached. The clothes spanned several decades, from the 1940's to the 1970's and ranged from silky cocktail dresses to sturdy cotton house dresses. She had multiples of everything - five of the same dress, backup pairs of her favorite style of shoes still wrapped in tissue paper in their original boxes. The basement held shelves of obscure kitchen implements and the kind of gadgets you'd see advertised in the back of a catalogue. Despite the eccentricities, her habits were not all that different from others of the same generation that had struggled through the Great Depression.

A shopper at the sale had dug the framed glamour shot out of a dusty box in the basement; she agreed to let me borrow it before making her purchase. I hung it among a row of empty picture hooks in what once was the master bedroom, where she seemed to belong."

[See past 'i love this photo' entries here.]

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