(b Nagasaki, Nov 8, 1867; d St Petersburg, FL, Nov 21, 1944).
American writer and lecturer of Japanese birth. He was born to a Japanese mother and German father and brought up by relatives in Hamburg and, from 1882, in Philadelphia, where he studied art. Under the influence of the poet Walt Whitman, he decided to become a writer. Later he worked as a journalist in Boston, where he launched a literary magazine. When publication ceased, he moved to New York and began his freelance career.
Hartmann’s first article for Camera Notes was published in 1898 by Alfred Stieglitz, and he made regular contributions to Camera Work until 1904, but thereafter he published wherever he could and became a lecturer. He was one of the best-known spokesmen for photography in America, criticizing any work that did not make use of the fundamental qualities of the medium. A severe judge of early American painting, he singled out only Gilbert Stuart and John Vanderlyn for praise. Among later 19th-century American painters he preferred followers of the Barbizon school. His impact as a critic had lessened by the 1920s, although his views on the standards of 20th-century painting and photography attracted renewed attention in the 1970s....