Lenhart (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
print cabinet card, circa 1894
may have had a relative as a partner, judging from the
mount of this photograph. It is marked "Lenharts" and
carries a complex monogram that appears to combine a
large "L" with "T.L. & T.S." The address of the
studio is given as "131 N. 7th St./Allentown, Pa."
Lenhart was listed at this location in the 1899 Allentown
City Directory. He was already in Allentown as a
photographer by 1894, although the City Directory for
that year does not list the address of his studio.
examples of this photograph were produced with the
addition of a large caption in white: "Lenhart
Photographing Himself." Perhaps Lenhart did not want
people to assume this to be a photograph of identical
twins. Once the viewer understands the nature of the
deception, this image presents a clever commentary about
the collaboration between the sitter and the photographer
during the production of a studio portrait. Even ordinary
portraits require a sort of collusion in order to
succeed: the subject is expected to take direction yet
still be able to project his or her distinct personality.
Double portraits, in which the subject poses twice in
rapid succession, require the sitter to perform two roles
in a small dramatic scene staged by the photographer.
Lenhart reveals this dynamic-- posing as both the poser
and the person being posed -- in this remarkable double