'The Hair As Remembrancer': Hairwork and the Technology of Memory
Harmeyer, Rachel Robertson 1986-
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Sentimental hairwork, especially popular in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, is an understudied subject for art history, and need to be considered beyond it connection the painted portrait miniature or the mourning jewel. Hair had meaning as a fragment because of its connection to the individual from whom the hair was taken, and functioned for the original viewer as an embodiment of that individual: it served as a part that implied the whole, and connected its owner to the absent or deceased body of their loved one. This thesis places hair and hairwork in the context of its social use and argues that hairwork functioned as a technology of memory. In some cases, hair and hairwork were used interchangeably with photography to record and memorialize the individual, and hairwork was eventually supplanted by photography as a vehicle for memory by the end of the nineteenth century.