It’s Women’s History Month, and I am highlighting my female ancestors. My grandmother, Agnes Speck Cubbage, died when I was only six years old. These beautiful images of her, long before I was born, capture some of her personality.
My grandfather, Art Cubbage, was the photographer of his family. He wasn’t in many of the pictures – he was usually the one behind the camera. Art took pictures of his family and friends on holidays and at family events, but also around the house and yard. I have already written about his awesome slide collection (which was dated and labeled!). The black-and-white earlier prints were just as wonderful, although these were not labeled like the slides. While Art’s posed pictures of family in front of the Christmas tree were nice, it was his candid shots of his wife Agnes that I love the most.
I absolutely love this picture! These mundane, everyday shots of Agnes might seem unremarkable, yet I feel that I know her a little better through these images. Agnes’ expressions share so much about her.
I like this one because it shows their kitchen in New Providence in the 1950s. I remember visiting in the 1970s, but some things had been updated by that time. I wonder what she was saying when Art took this one.
This series of pictures isn’t labeled, but appear to be taken in their backyard in New Providence, probably in the 1950s. It looks like something happened after the first two shots and Agnes was going towards Art. This one really shows a more playful side … different from the posed pictures, and so many of the other candid shots of Agnes where she seems more serious.
Many of Art’s pictures are of Agnes doing everyday activities … cooking, drinking coffee, reading the newspaper. I love these snapshots of their life together.
This is one from the slide collection. It was double exposed with another image overlaying it towards the bottom. Even with that, I like her seriousness and expressive hands while she is talking. Again, I would love to know what she was talking about.
This serious picture of Agnes was with a series of images of her and sons Corky and Jeff, where they appear to be on a boat trip. I love this picture too!
Another picture of everyday life … talking on the phone. I can remember where the phone was in the hallway, as well as the one-piece table and chair by the phone (some call it a “gossip chair”). I like the glimpse of their bedroom in the background too.
Even in this posed shot, I love Agnes’ expression and the way her sons, Corky and Jeff, are looking at her.
A more serious, pensive picture of Agnes. The red lipstick is a contrast to the simple housecoat.
I am so thankful for all of the pictures that my grandfather took, especially the ones of my grandmother. I wish I had seen them years ago so I could have asked him about them. Lesson learned … ask your family about pictures now so that we aren’t leaving it up to speculation years later!
As you research your family, go through any photos that you can find. Ask your living relatives about the people. Look for those everyday images of your ancestors’ lives.
Did you have an amateur photographer in your family? Do you have any favorite pictures of your ancestors?