19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
Covid Still Life

This is an ambrotype still life created with a camera and lens from around 1900. I wanted to do a traditional pandemic-themed tableau in the style and sensibility of the 19th century, complete with medical ephemera and memento mori. At the center is a used vile of Moderna vaccine, surrounded by medical masks, gloves, antique bottles of alcohol and disinfectant, a frame containing bat skeleton bones, and in keeping with a true memento mori, a replica of a human skull. The intent of this piece is to connect our modern time with pandemics past, connecting our current challenges with their historic antecedents.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States of America
Copyright: © william steber