This paste-up technique had other advantages as well. It was a convenient way of including the whole family in the picture even if one or two members were not present at the time. A letter would be sent off to a brother or sister overseas, for instance, asking for a portrait of a certain size and pose. On arrival, it would be cut out and pasted into the group. Even death couldn't prevent the grandparents from being represented in the composite. A suitable head-and-shoulders portrait was copied and pasted into the composite. Nothing so macabre as including the deceased person in the group was contemplated, but rather placing the image on the wall behind the group with a frame painted around it. This was a procedure long practised by European painters.
Stanley G. Triggs

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