The order of the bath

George Leslie Adkin1917

Te Papa

Te Papa

Leslie Adkin’s warm and gentle photograph of his wife and daughter has become a classic of family photography.

Leslie AdkinAdkin farmed near Levin and was also a self-taught scholar, with interests ranging over geology, archaeology, botany, and Māori history. He applied the same thoroughness and attention to detail when recording his personal life as he did to photographing his other interests. Adkin rarely took a literal snap-shot, even though his family photographs seem to epitomise the snapshot craze that developed from the turn of the century. The composition of this photograph and the way Maud holds the facecloth just out of Nancy’s reach suggest a moment carefully constructed for the camera.

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  • Title: The order of the bath
  • Date Created: 1917
  • Location Created: Levin, New Zealand
  • Type: gelatin dry plate negatives
  • Rights: Gift of Maud Adkin, 1964
  • External Link: Te Papa
  • Medium: black and white glass negative
  • photographer: Leslie Adkin
  • Subjects: Mothers; Children; Bathing; Basins; Chairs; Porches; Towels
  • Place Part Of: New Zealand
  • Object classification: gelatin dry plate negatives; black-and-white negatives
  • Material terms: photographic gelatin; sheet glass; silver; photographic plates