Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Flickr Commons 2nd anniversary story #1

April 9th, 2010 by
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Young girl in Red Cross uniform, originally uploaded by Powerhouse Museum Collection.

Other people will probably choose this same lovely image. Anyone can see that it’s well-made: sharp focus, the high contrast in the nurse’s uniform and the young woman’s striking eyes add up to something special.

I’ve made two purses featuring this photograph, both of them for nurses. The first was a Christmas gift ordered in mid-December–the buyer said her sister was a nurse, and oh, could I make a purse that also featured their grandmother in her white uniform? Sure! The Powerhouse image formed is strong; small side images cannot overpower it. Then about a month later, another order for a “Nurse Purse,” from a local nurse practitioner. She loved midnight blue–no problem, the Powerhouse nurse glows out from even the darkest background.

So I’ve spent some time with this image: I’ve cut around its edges, I’ve outlined the bandage held taut in both gloved hands. But no matter how long I look at it and work with it, the subject’s name will always be a mystery. Who was she? What happened in her life? Was she really a nurse, or a model hired to pose as one? Because I don’t know anything more about her, both bags instead carry a quote from Florence Nightingale, “Nursing is an Art.” This photo certainly lives up to that declaration.

Photography Tyrrell collection
No known copyright restrictions
Post by Penny Richards Flickr Commons 2nd Anniversary print winner.