Alice Austen

Trude & I

August 6, 1891. 11 pm.

In an era when women were arrested for smoking in public, 25-year-old Alice and the Episcopalian minister's daughter, Gertrude Eccleston, simulated sinfulness.  The scene is Ms. Eccleston's bedroom in the rectory.  Alice Austen wrote on the negative sleeve: "Trude & I masked, short skirts. 11 p.m., Thursday Aug. 6th 1891. Gas on, flash.  Stanley 35, Waterbury lense. 11ft."

Austen has said about the photograph: "We were hard-up that day, I guess. We had no ideas about smoking then, but we thought we were smart."

Eccleston, who eventually became Mrs Charles Barton, attended "Alice Austen Day" in October 1951. As she viewed the photographs, she stated, "There I am. That's me, in the petticoat there." (VS notes)

Alice and Trude Eccleston in masks, corset covers and petticoats. The black stockings were routine-- flesh-colored ones didn't appear until the Twenties-- and the hair was their own.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society