With advances in photography in the mid nineteenth century, sharing and swapping inexpensive photo booth style portraits became so popular it was called cardomania. The availability of photo portraits inspired amateur watercolorists and artists in the 1860s and 1870s to include cut outs of these images and insert them onto scenes or create scenes around them.
Photocollages, which were predominantly made by English women of leisure, created a new form of creative expression for the Victorians. An selection of these delightful works on paper is currently on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 9.
The image above, reminiscent of an 18th century conversation piece painting, is an untitled page from the Sackville-West album, made by a great aunt of Vita.
Photo: Courtesy of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film