From time to time you hear of instances where someone discovers him- or herself in an old photograph. Sometimes the subject of a famous picture is recognized and identified when it's published, as was the case in June of 2008 when the Indianapolis Star found Telester Smiley, the subject—unbeknownst to her—of an iconic motorcycle photograph taken decades ago by Robert Frank. Of course Steve McCurry did manage to find and identify the "Afghan Girl," years later. And then there are the photos whose subjects haunt you, whose eyes you can't forget, who despite the connection made by the picture remain unidentified.*
Sometimes it becomes like one of those forlorn ads people sometimes place in city newspapers, trying to find someone they felt a connection to in a chance encounter.
Bruce Davidson has wondered for years about the identity of the girl with the kitten in the famous picture he took of her many years ago. He didn't get her name. But he says he thinks of her every time he visits Britain.
A case of "you can't go home again?"
In the Guardian article about his hopeful search, he's quoted saying, "I know it's 50-odd years ago, but someone out there must know who she is, surely."
(Thanks to a reader whose email I can't find)
*Does anyone remember the post we did about the unidentified woman in the old flea-market Kodachromes? I can't find that, either. My assistant** does a lousy job with keywords. (I'd fire that guy if I wasn't related to him.)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by robert e: "I think you mean this article."
Mike replies: That's it. Thanks, Robert. Too bad the link to the rest of the pictures is broken now.