Two Friends in a Mirror-Image Portrait


Two Friends in a Mirror-Image Portrait


A playful double-exposure portrait of two young men probably circa 1910-1914. They were probably friends of the photographer, William Alonso Clapshaw. On the top half of the image, both men wear tiny feathered straw hats, while one holds a parasol. Printed ribbons on their hats are partially legible and read, "-FUL MAB-" and "THE MER-". The bottom half of the image shows the same men upside down resulting in a mirror-image effect, with one wearing a top hat and the other a slouchy straw hat. They wear the same ribboned lapel pins, but one man wears the pin flipped upside down. The image may be playing with notions of gender, with the parasol half of the image representing the feminine and the other representing the masculine. Clapshaw created the image by exposing the top half of the negative, then flipping it 180 degrees and exposing the other half.
This is one image from a set of glass plate negatives created by William Alonso Clapshaw. Clapshaw was a clerk and shopkeeper who lived near Forest Grove, Oregon for most of his life. He was born in 1880, probably at the family's home in the Hillside neighborhood of Forest Grove, on what is now Clapshaw Hill Road east of Gales Creek. Around 1910-1914, William took an interest in photography and created a set of glass plate negatives documenting scenes near his family's lands as well as images of himself, his friends and family members. He most likely used a silver gelatin dry plate process. The photographs were donated to the Pacific University Archives in 2023.


Clapshaw, William Alonso, 1880-1974

Date: Display

circa 1910-1914




Multiple exposure


Forest Grove, Oregon


Gelatin silver negatives



Pacific University Archives