Issue 206, Fall 2013
Girl with umbrella, probably Middelburg, Zeeland. This elegant girl with coils at her temples, dressed in clothing typical of the island of Walcheren—like the other women in the photo—has momentarily turned away from the spectacle that has attracted this crowd. Behind her, two women are standing on chairs, the better to see. A painted pattern such as this is often found on the shutters and/or doors of other public and private buildings in Holland (including the Middelburg stadhuis). The umbrellas, two more of which are visible, are for protection against the sun, not the rain.
Three boys with baby carriage. Like many others in these photos, the boys are working—in this case, minding a younger sibling—and are apparently taken by surprise, to judge from their expressions and their positions midstride.
Children wading (close-up). In this picture, unusually, we sense the motion of the picturetaker, one or the other of the Shaws. He or she has moved closer to the spit of land, which is identifiably the same. One of the children is also the same—the little boy on the far right, who was in the center of the photograph on the opposite page. Notice the dog in the background. Dogs were not so commonly seen loose in photographs. However, large, strong dogs were often used to pull carts carrying cheese, milk, or vegetables to market.
Women crossing square, Volendam. Three women in traditional Volendam dress are clearly shown, and a fourth figure, probably a man, disappears into the darkness of the house behind him. One woman, probably a young girl, turns to look at the photographer. Her companion holds a cane and seems to stoop slightly. Because they are not carrying baskets or any other sign of everyday work, and because they are all headed toward the little houses in the background, we have the impression that they are returning from some special occasion, perhaps a church service. The small, white scarves worn by two of them support that assumption, since they were worn only on special occasions. Their shadows are not long, so we can assume the time is around midday.