A Lifetime in Six Portraits

In the Chapman albums, five six* portraits of Arabella survive. We’ve arranged them here in rough chronological order. The last portrait, of Arabella as a mature women, reflects how she had become a seasoned portrait subject. Her pose and her gaze, just slightly out beyond the photographer’s head, appear confident, yet at ease. Perhaps she had learned the art of portrait sitting. Even the first image, that of Arabella as a girl, depicts a subject confident about confronting the camera and the crafting of her own image.

*After a closer study of the image, we added this group tintype titled “Pleasure Island” to the gallery of Arabella’s images. In the back row to the left is seated Arabella, and next to her is her sister Harriet Alfarata. At their feet are the three Miller children: (l. to r.) Claribel, Harriet Alfarata, and Carroll Aubin. (June 1, 2015.)

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