JAIC 2002, Volume 41, Number 3, Article 1 (pp. 203 to 223)
PAPER PROFILES: AMERICAN PORTRAIT SILHOUETTES
ABSTRACT—American portrait silhouettes were made by a range of people, from highly trained portrait artists to itinerant peddlers to family members snipping away in the drawing room. Some silhouettes are fine examples on watermarked paper deftly tipped into albums, and others are constructed from homemade materials cobbled together. This article discusses the history, materials, and techniques of silhouettes in the United States and their historical precedents abroad. The range of silhouette formats and the wide array of tracing machines that were employed to capture profiles straight from the face are also considered. A final section surveys conservation problems presented by these unique artifacts.