Ray Batchelor re-edited this on 22 November 2018:
“This comes originally from the Archivo General de la Nación Argentina. It was posted on its Facebook page but, sadly, without an inventory number.
The same image and caption are given on the website of Miguel Diel, based in Orange in France.
The image appears to show rural couple dancing which includes the two men in the centre. From the faces in the crowd, the camera is obviously an object of interest. The dress and dresses would be consistent with the date given. How do we know it IS tango? And what would ‘tango’ have meant in 1890, danced on the rough ground? All that, quite apart from reflecting on the apparent normality of the scene, with no sign that the men were dancing for humorous effect, but dancing as apparent equals to the more conventionally constituted couples of a man leading a woman.”
I actually went to the Archivo General de las Nación in Buenos Aires on 21 November 2018 to see what more I could find out about the image. All images in the Archivo are digitised and show both front and obverse of each photograph. However, the Archivo still relies on index cards organised by subject to access its images, and with no inventory number, it was impossible to track the photograph down.
Argentina, Archivo General de la Nación, Departamento Documentos Fotográficos o AR_AGN_DDF/Consulta_INV: ???? – I will add this number if it comes to light.
The image url:
Buenos Aires. Bailando tango en Palermo, c.1890.Documento Fotográfico.