Susan S. Lukesh, PhD, MLS, is an experienced researcher and freelance writer as well as higher education administrator with over 20 years experience in developing, managing and reorganizing schools, departments and organizations.
Agatha was born in 1886 after the height of [New Bedford, Massachusetts’s] wealth from whaling. She learned some of the history and much about her great-grandfather, Henry Taber, from her grandmother, Abby Taber Hunt, who introduced Agatha to the photo album she had compiled in the 1860s. In the late 1880s, as grandmother taking care of one of three granddaughters, Abby “read” the album to Agatha and told stories of the people in the album—family as well as movers and shakers of New Bedford at the time. In the 1940s, after the death of her mother, and decades after the death of her grandmother, mother of Agatha’s mother, Agatha annotated the album with the stories her grandmother … had told her, leaving us with a rare—perhaps even unique—instance of one of the verbal narratives that typically accompanied the display of an album, narratives whose importance “to the experience of photo albums cannot be overstated.”[i]
Thus Agatha herself ties the two books together—the original efforts separated by close to 50 years (1860s and 1912), with the books by Lukesh about the works appearing more than a century later.
In Frozen in Time, Susan Snow Lukesh takes a mid-nineteenth century photo album from New Bedford, Massachusetts, created against a backdrop of the Civil War, and moves the people seemingly frozen in time backwards and forwards.
This album with its very small cast thus unfolds to offer a glimpse of the rich panorama of nineteenth-century New Bedford. The biographical sketches of the players reveal a snapshot of New Bedford’s citizens, New Bedford’s history and industries, and, importantly, New Bedford’s part in the Civil War.
Agatha! presents a sketch book created during a three-month 1912 tour of Europe by four young women, a tour nestled between the horrific sinking of the Titanic and the subsequent outbreak of WW1 in the Austrian-Hungary Empire through which the women passed as Agatha noted.
Representative Publications & Lectures
This page offers an accessible collection of Susan Snow Lukesh’s lectures and published work.
[i] Walker, Andrew L. and Moulton, Rosalind Kimball. Photo Albums: Images of Time and Reflections of Self, Qualitative Sociology, 12, 2, Summer 1989, 155-182.