Reproducing Gender in Nineteenth-century Illustrations

Barbara Balliet


In American metropolitan centers from the mid-nineteenth-century onward, inescapable images--in the home, in books, magazines, as daguerreotypes, carte de visits, album cards, prints, and chromos, or on the streets in posters and advertisements--coincided with rising middle-class anxiety about what appearances actually revealed. Was that well-dressed visitor in your parlor the gentleman he claimed to be, or a con man? Was the lady a tramp? How did these proliferating images operate and provide knowledge about the changing city, newly settled regions, and their inhabitants or enable viewers to locate themselves in an unfamiliar landscape?

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