Photo Albums and Scrapbooks
Though the heart of a wedding ceremony is spoken and acted, there are plenty of physical keepsakes to treasure. Photographs are one of the more obvious and common options – whether a few well-chosen portraits, or picture documentation of every step of the journey – but the creative memoirist might save telegrams, gift cards, receipts, planning notes, and other pieces of the written word. Scrapbooking seems like a modern fad, but it’s been practiced for decades by our bridal foremothers who used ready-made memory books like the ones here, or made their own.
Wedding album of Wendy Salganik and Bob Davis, married at Chizuk Amuno on April 14, 1973. The photos were taken by well-known local photographer Alvin H. Levin.
On loan from Wendy and Bob Davis. JMM L2016.19.2
Ephemera saved in a wedding journal by Elsa Klopfer of Philadelphia who married Moses Wiesenfeld of Baltimore in 1916. Mrs. Wiesenfeld made detailed notes in her book, including narrative histories of their first meeting, their engagement party, and the wedding itself. So thorough was her use of the book that it even notes the guests to their 25th anniversary party in 1944.
Gift of Joseph Wiesenfeld. JMM 1994.10.1
Wedding Memories, kept by Alene Steiger who married Charles Adler at the Hotel Belvedere in April 1925. There are many loose items tucked inside, such as snapshots, corsages, and two valentines from Charles to Alene.
Album with painted silk covers, designed by M. Farini and published by C.R. Gibson, New York.
Gift of Amalie Adler Ascher. JMM 1989.167.4b
Scrapbook commemorating the wedding of Rosa Stein Weiller and Sidney Thanhouser at Lehmann’s Hall on October 7, 1903. The book primarily contains congratulatory telegrams, and may have been designed for this purpose); it also has their marriage license. The book’s poor condition might indicate that it was frequently looked through by the couple or their family.
Gift of Louise Thanhouser Goldman. JMM 1989.135.6
Wedding album, marriage of Deborah Kaplan and Efrem M. Potts., who were married at Chizuk Amuno, November 24, 1949.
Gift of Efrem M. Potts. JMM 1995.192.11
I have my ketubah upstairs. And I just hung [my granddaughter] Rachel’s wedding invitation above it.
Ruth Surosky, who married Stanley Levy in 1943, in a 2001 interview. Interviewed by Marcie Cohen-Ferris, “Weaving Women’s Words: Baltimore” Oral History Project of the Jewish Women’s Archives, 2001. JMM OH641
Framed wedding invitation, in English and Yiddish, for the marriage of marriage of Mary Atkin and Abe Malinow, Fink’s Hall, June 14, 1914.
Gift of Phyllis Atkin Neuman. JMM 1994.105.4
Framed bridal portrait of Barbara Sue Levy Dackman, 1951. Though the marriage ended in divorce some years later, the portrait still hung in a place of pride in Barbara’s home, and later in her son’s home.
On loan from her children, Joel Dackman, William (Bill) Dackman, Jay Dackman and Ilene Dackman-Alon. JMM L2017.6.1
Framed wedding portrait of Yetta Fuchs and Max Katz, married in 1913 in New York City. Both recent immigrants from what is now the Ukraine, the couple moved to Baltimore with their first daughter around 1915. This photo was one of several family portraits they had enlarged, colored, and framed in matching faux-painted frames for display in their home.
Gift of Ginger and Jeffrey Stein. JMM 2015.1.5
Framed wedding portrait of Aimee Darrow and Caroline Harmon, who were married at Baltimore’s Charles Theatre, November 11, 2011 (following a civil ceremony on the National Mall in Washington, DC the previous day).
The Charles was the site of the couples’ first date; after the ceremony they posed for a photo in front of the marquee with their families, including their son Jacob Harmon-Darrow, who served as one of the ring bearers.
On loan from Aimee and Caroline Harmon-Darrow. JMM L2017.14.3
A wedding is a milestone event, one that is celebrated and commemorated for years to come. Oftentimes it is an occasion – for some, one of the few occasions – for which your best photograph is taken, and at which your best self is shown; after all, every bride is beautiful.
It isn’t only portraits that are proudly framed for posterity, however; there are many other reminders that are worthy of display. Though different in style and content, these artifacts were framed and displayed, either by the original couple, their family, or both.
Framed ketubah documenting the marriage of Rachel Quartner and Adam Mitchell Frieman, August 15, 1992. Created by Avraham Cohen in 1993. Gift of Hyson S. Freiman. JMM 1998.63.1
Framed wedding invitation for the marriage of Sarah Metzger and David Wiesenfeld, Lloyd Street Synagogue (Baltimore Hebrew Congregation), May 23, 1871. The framing was likely done by the family sometime later, in the early-mid 20th century.
Gift of Cory L. Rothschild and Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. JMM 1994.37.3
Framed wedding portrait of Lee Labovitz and Philip Kramer, who were married at Shaarei Tfiloh, Baltimore, on June 25, 1929.
Gift of Paul Kramer. JMM 2001.6.2
Framed bridal portrait of Betty Rebecca Appleby, who married Alvin M. Ford at Baltimore’s Alcazar Ballroom on February 26, 1939. Her gown was made by her uncle, a dress designer in London.
On loan from Mary-Jo Ford Dale. JMM L2017.13.1
Framed wedding portrait of Toby Gordon and Bruce Kaup, married in Baltimore on May 22, 1982. The bride chose to wear pink at her interfaith wedding; in response her aunt Estelle said, resignedly, “Well, you’re both scientists.”
On loan from Toby Gordon. JMM L2017.4.1
Framed bridal portrait of Carol Greif, who married Sheldon Sandler in March of 1967. Her father, well-known local photographer Leonard L. Greif, Jr., took the portrait, which was done a few weeks before the wedding. On loan from Carol Greif Sandler. JMM L2017.9.1