Pam Cole can help you. Ms. Cole of Marietta is a professional costumier with extensive work in ballet, theater, opera, movies, museums and with re-enactors. She’s with the Capitol City Opera Co., of Atlanta, as head of costuming. She previously has worked with The Georgia Ballet and the KSU Theater Department. And she designed and constructed the costumes for the volunteer tour guides at The Root House Museum in Marietta. She has extensive knowledge, in other words, of past styles in clothing, hair and accessories. And she’s a graduate of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in Costume Design and Building.
When Cole sees an old photo, she can usually pinpoint when it was taken. And that’s what she’ll be doing June 30 at the Avery Gallery at 390 Roswell St., in Marietta. Ms. Cole’s lectures will take place at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. that day.
“Pam is an expert at telling what sort of clothing was worn at different periods,” Gallery owner Shae Avery told this columnist this past week. “She has studied this for many years, and is extremely good at what she does.”
She’s the wife of Marietta photographer Nicholas Cole.
“Most people wanted to look their best when they were recorded, and many things were used to make them look their finest,” Avery said. “She will tell how clothing, hair-styles and accessories such as jewelry determine when a photo portrait was taken or a portrait painted.”
Those who attend can bring photos or portraits from their own collections to be analyzed.
As anyone who’s been to an antique store or looked through old, old photo albums knows, most photos are unlabeled and unmarked. Few people ever get around to writing on the backs the names of those in the photos or when or where they were taken. It can be very frustrating to have a handful of photos of your ancestors, but not be able to pinpoint exactly who was who.
That’s where Ms. Cole comes in. Through the process of deduction and her knowledge of historic clothing styles, etc., she can give one a very good idea of what decade a photo was snapped, or even which half-decade. (Styles change fast, even in the old days.) And if you know Uncle George was in his 30s in the 1890s, and Ms. Cole is able to ascertain that the portrait in question is from that era, you can by the process of elimination “subtract” other long-ago relatives and zero in on Uncle George as the likeliest possible candidate.
There is no cost for the lecture, but if you bring an item for her to analyze, there will be a small charge. Any other facts you have about the people you suspect are in the picture are helpful as well.
For more, call the gallery at (770) 427-2459.
SPEAKING of old Marietta families, our thoughts go out this weekend to Madge Tregone, who will turn 100 on June 15.
Madge was an artist in her younger years and produced many beautiful paintings for family and friends. She was the wife of Alec Tregone, who was editor of the Marietta Daily Journal in the late 1930s and early 1940s when this columnist was a cub reporter. Alec passed away last year but was active in the Marietta Rotary Club well into his 90s.
Madge’s family history in Cobb dates well back into the 1800s. Her father, Walter Schilling, was Marietta postmaster for years and her grandfather, C.E. Henderson, built the old county courthouse. Meanwhile, her uncles, Harold and Fred Shilling, owned Schilling’s Hardware Store on the Square on the site of present-day Shilling’s Restaurant.
She now lives at Atherton Place, where she plans to celebrate her big day with daughters Susan Johnson and Claire Tregone and other family members.
Bill Kinney is associate editor of The Marietta Daily Journal.