A handwritten message on the back of this photo gives me names and dates, and I know that it comes from my stepfather’s family. Unfortunately, there is no one left to tell me who Cassie and Jennie were. I do not even know their relationship to one another. Is this a mother-daughter photo? The woman on the left is holding on to the younger woman’s arm, perhaps for stability in lieu of a cane.
Given their gloves, hats, and lightweight coats, I’m wondering if perhaps this is an Easter portrait. The hats and the cuts of their coats still have a 1920s flavor to them, even though a new decade had begun. The older woman’s clothes look especially dated, in her cloche hat and wide-collared coat with a single button closure.
The composition of the photo tells a story. The older woman is dressed almost entirely in dark colors, with only a printed sliver of her blouse and a few hints of silver to relieve her somber look. Posed in the back, it looks as if she knew her time was coming to an end. The middle aged woman in the front is dressed entirely in lighter colors, with just a hint of darkness in the necklace around her neck. She moves forward towards us while her companion moves back.