Doris Ulmann's photographs of Southern black people often seem to idealize their subjects. In the 1920s and 1930s, Ulmann, a woman of means from New York, documented what she perceived to be a vanishing black culture. The woman is posed with her hands in her lap, her lips pursed, and her bespectacled eyes gazing directly at the viewer. While her gingham-checked dress and striped cap are quite lively, her demeanor is calm. Ulmann's sensitive study depicts a woman who, though very different from herself, was equally dignified.