MP-0000.300 | The Pitt family in their living room, Montreal, QC, 1895

The Pitt family in their living room, Montreal, QC, 1895
Anonyme - Anonymous
1895, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card
20 x 25 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , residential (1255)
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Keys to History

Between Confederation and the end of the 19th century, music rooms are very popular. Mastery of a musical instrument is considered a great social asset, suggesting refinement and the ability to entertain and perform. Playing instruments also implies the achievement of a certain level of skilled education, as music must be read and learned. Being able to afford such instruments, and lessons to go along with them, indicates class status. In this music room, the mother sits on a piano stool to listen to her son play the violin. Surrounding her is evidence of her domestic skills. She probably selected the curtains and carpet, and certainly decorated the mantel and table with small vases and souvenirs. From the comfort of an easy chair under the fronds of a fern plant, the father encourages the performance.

Source : Crowding the Parlour [Web tour], by Jane Cook, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    This is a photograph of a boy playing violin for his parents. A stuffed and fringed easy chair, overhead gas light and lace curtains can be seen in the room.

  • Where

    This is part of the parlour or music room in a Montreal residence.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in 1895.

  • Who

    This is Mr. and Mrs. James A. Pitt with their son Andrew.