Eugenie Bury 1902

Eugenie Bury photographed by Emile Lorson, 1902

While refurbushing the studio, I stumbled across a long-forgotten photo album that my mother prepared shortly before she died in 2004. The album contains the most important (in her view, anyway) photos of our family.

The first photo in the album shows my great-grandmother, Eugenie Bury, from Alsace. It is dated 1902 and was apparently shot by photographer Emile Lorson. Lorson had studios in Strassburg and Schlettstadt.

I think the photo of Eugenie is beautiful, almost magical. She was born in 1884, so the photo shows her at the age of 18, and I wonder what she might have thought during the photo session. Did she imagine that this photo was made for eternity? She might have, but certainly she would not have dreamed about some descendant sitting in a hyper-modern studio scanning her image 110 years later. :-) I have never met her, unfortunately, but I guess she would have laughed about this thought in 1902.

Her life was as weird as any life could be. Born in Alsace (France today) she somehow found her way to Northern Germany, to a small village named Schönwalde, to live with her husband, Paul Gehring, a professional forest ranger. Together they had two children and four grandchildren. They had a simple yet full life and could see their family grow. Eugenie died in 1962 at the age of 78.

Her image from 1902, almost lost in a slowly deteriorating photo album, has now made it to the Internet for the world to see and to remember. Of course, I ordered a 8 x 12 inch fine-art print on museum quality paper. The print will get a prominent place in the studio. Eugenie continues to live, and the photo session of 1902 was worth every effort. I like that thought.

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