Sunday, November 23, 2008

19th Century Facebook Foto


I'm postponing Part II of our roofing adventure to show you this photo regression I had done of Laura Hawkins.

Thanks to our Mark Twain expert, Dave Thomson, I learned (embarrassingly enough) that the little girl photo I posted several posts back was not Laura Hawkins, but Olivia Langdon, Mark Twain's wife!

Sooo.... with the derth of photos out there on Laura Hawkins in her younger days, I tapped into the services of an age regression artist. This is the photo I submitted...

Laura Hawkins at age 19

Here's the regressed photo created from the above:

Laura Hawkins at age 12-13

I was surprised with the final product and questioned the skill level of the person who did this regression.

For instance, is the chin shown here really the chin of a child? Shouldn't this have been smoothed out or tightened somewhat? Also, does it appear that the bone structure is a bit overdeveloped?

And the eyes... I believe the eyes should be spaced wider apart. Typically, the eyes of infants and young children appear wider apart due to the ratio of the length of their faces (top of forehead to bottom of chin) to the spacing between eyes. With age, eyes will appear closer together, if only due to increased face height. In my opinion, the close spacing between the eyes appears a bit premature.

The suppleness of the facial flesh in the regression also bothers me. I believe the child Laura should have been treated to a slight facelift around the mouth and jowls. The lips too should look softer and less chiseled. Despite the difficult lives of your typical pre-Victorian child, I wouldn't expect a child to purse her lips so tightly. To me, it's eerily Charlton Heston-like.

The more I look at the photo, the more I wonder if anything was done other than to house Laura's face at age 19 with a new hairdo and clothing. Even the hairdo makes Laura's young face appear overly cropped at the sides. With hair pulled back this tight and plastered against the skull, I'd expect that her eyes not only would be spaced wider apart, but she would have a slightly Asian look as well.

I'm inviting your opinions and then I will engage the expertise of American artist Nick Kosciuk (of whom I'm a great fan and collector). Nick paints heavenly faces of children and teens. Here's a blog post and article about his fairy-like children paintings:

I also intend to search out a second opinion from another age-regression artist.


sb10 said...


I read with interest how you've been seeking out the services of age regression artists.

I have been considering doing the same thing with pictures of my grandparents. Have you found any artists you like? Thanks!

Russell Cushman said...

I have just acquired a pile of tintypes which have some Clemens related images in them... one is of Laura.. I THINK! Please send me your email address and I will send you a copy of the REAL Becky! You can check me out at to make sure this is all legit! I am an artist and historian in Navasota, Texas. I look forward to hearing form you. My email is