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Article

Eugenia Parry Janis

(b Boissy-Saint-Léger, Dec 12, 1795; d Paris, May 4, 1866).

French lithographer, photographer and painter. From his début at the Salon of 1814 as a painter he regularly exhibited lithographed images of daily life, fashion, regional costumes and erotica, many done after the work of English and Dutch artists. He also published his own lithographed compositions, mostly ‘female types’. With Achille Deveria and others he contributed to the compendium of romantic erotica called Imagerie galante (Paris, 1830), which provocatively updated an erotic mode found in 18th-century engravings. The subjects were pictorial versions of stock characters from popular novels and plays.

Vallou turned to photography in 1842 after nearly 30 years of popular lithography. By 1851 he was using the paper negative exclusively. He belonged to the Société Héliographique and was a founder-member of the Société Française de Photographie. It is not known how and why he changed to the new medium, except that he may have seen its market potential in providing artists with photographic studies (...

Article

Geoffrey Batchen

Meaning both ‘indigenous’ and ‘ordinary’, the word ‘vernacular’ could conceivably be applied to any photograph. However, since the turn of the 21st century, scholars, dealers, and collectors have commonly attached this word to those photographs not considered to be artistic in intention or function. These include snapshots and most forms of commercial photography, but also photograph albums, hand-painted and framed photographs, and a variety of objects embellished with photographs. More rarely, the term is used to describe distinctively regional genres of photography, such as Mexican fotoescultura or Nigerian ibeji images. Since its introduction into photographic discourse, ‘vernacular photography’ has been used to expand significantly the range of photographs discussed by scholars and shown by museums. But it has also prompted a debate about the kind of scholarship appropriate to the medium of photography, a debate encouraged by the advent of methods of analysis borrowed from anthropology, cultural studies, and other disciplines outside of art history....

Article

Marta Gili

(b Sabadell, nr Barcelona, 1878; d Sabadell, 1954).

Spanish photographer. His eagerness to assimilate the European aesthetic currents that had not reached Barcelona led him to travel in France and Germany. In Paris he came into contact with Symbolist painting, which was to leave a profound impression on his work. On returning from his travels in 1901, he settled permanently in Sabadell, where he opened a studio that later became famous. His sophisticated nudes, the baroque quality of his compositions and his allegorical subjects make him one of the foremost representatives of Spanish Pictorialism....

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

(b Dobrilugk [now Doberlug-Kirchhain], Brandenburg, March 26, 1834; d Berlin, Dec 17, 1898).

German photographer and chemist. Vogel was one of the most important German photographic scientists of the 19th century, which can be witnessed in his experimental research, publications, and teaching. Educated at school in Frankfurt an der Oder and the Royal Industrial School at Berlin, Vogel had training in chemical, mechanical, and geological sciences. This training came to bear on his appointment as a scientific assistant at the Mineralogische Museum of Berlin in 1858. Vogel later moved back to the Royal Industrial School where he established the school’s first photographic laboratory. From there, in the early 1870s, he produced his most important chemical investigation, which demonstrated how photographic plates could be made sensitive to colour. While the development of commercial colour photography was still many years away, Vogel’s experiments were critical in furthering the investigation of colour spectra and optics and in advancing the science of photography more generally. Vogel shared some of this research with the scientific and professional photographic communities in several widely printed books, including ...

Article

Heather A. Shannon

(b La Salle, IL, April 15, 1856; d Altadena, CA, July 24, 1916).

American photographer and bookstore owner. In 1872 Vroman left home and in 1874 began working for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. In 1892 he acquired his first camera and began making landscape views around Rockford, IL. In the same year he married and moved to Pasadena, CA. Shortly after his wife’s death in 1894, Vroman and a business partner opened the bookstore Glasscock & Vroman; from 1901 to his death in 1916 he was the sole proprietor of Vroman’s. In addition to books, stationery, and leather goods, the store stocked Kodak products and other photography supplies. Although recognized for his California photographs of the Franciscan missions and of the sites associated with Helen Hunt Jackson’s popular 1884 novel Ramona, Vroman has become best known for his Arizona and New Mexico photography. During his first trip to the Southwest in 1895, he travelled to north-eastern Arizona to photograph the Hopi Indian Snake Dance and the Petrified Forest. From ...

Article

David Karel

(b Listowel, Ont., May 12, 1858; d Sainte-Pétronille, Que., Sept 27, 1938).

Canadian painter and photographer. As a boy he displayed an aptitude for drawing animals and portraits. From 1873 to 1876 he was an apprentice photographer at the Notman–Fraser Studio, Toronto, and also studied drawing and painting with Robert F. Gagen (1848–1926). In 1876 he settled in Rochester, NY, working initially as a photographer. In 1877 he made a sketching tour in Quebec, visiting the Ile d’Orléans, on the St Lawrence River. From May to November 1880 he walked from Montreal to Quebec, marking the beginning of his close rapport with rural French Canadians. He also did some etching during this period, a technique he had learnt from F. Seymour Haden.

After visiting Europe in 1881, Walker’s style was influenced by Jean-François Millet; he was widely acclaimed as ‘the American Millet’ during his lifetime ( see fig. ). Other influences included Anton Mauve, Jacob and Willem Maris and Albert Pinkham Ryder, with whom he was acquainted....

Article

Marta Zarzycka

Term used to indicate photographic documentation of armed conflict and of life in the areas affected by such conflict. First associated with depictions of war in the mid-19th century, the term 'war photography' has been expanded in recent times to encompass novel developments: embedded reporting, citizen journalism, online testimonies of brutal acts by soldiers or extremist groups, and photographic coverage produced by aid organizations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

The earliest known war photographs were daguerreotypes taken as pioneering photographers followed American troops into the Mexican–American War in 1846, featuring the aftermath of the Battle of Monterey, Buena Vista, or Cerro Gordo. These images depicted deserted landscapes, war victims, and leg amputations. Other early examples include photographs from the Crimean War taken by Roger Fenton in 1853 in a horse-drawn photography van (...

Article

Sarah Kate Gillespie

(b Trenton, NJ, 1820/21; d Monrovia, June 7, 1875).

American photographer, active also in Liberia. One of the few African American daguerreotypists whose career has been documented by modern scholars, Washington was born in Trenton, NJ, as the son of a former slave. He became interested in the abolitionist movement at an early age, and worked hard to achieve an education, first studying at the Oneida Institute and later at Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, NH. Washington attended Dartmouth College in 1843 and learned daguerreotyping during his freshman year as a way to help pay for his schooling. He left Dartmouth in 1844 and moved to Hartford, CT, where he opened one of the city’s first daguerreotype studios two years later. By the early 1850s Washington was one of the premiere daguerreotypists in Hartford, catering to a broad and fairly élite clientele. One of his best-known portraits from this period dates from 1846–7, and is the earliest surviving photograph of abolitionist John Brown (daguerreotype; Washington, DC, N. P. G.). Brown is pictured holding a flag, possibly for the ‘Subterranean Pass Way’ (Brown’s version of the underground railroad), in one hand; the other hand raised as if taking a pledge. Despite Washington’s success, he remained wary of race relations in the United States, unconvinced that emancipation would lead to improved circumstances for blacks living in the United States. Closing his studio in Hartford, Washington immigrated to Liberia with his wife and two children in ...

Article

Sheryl Conkelton

(b Oneonta, NY, Nov 11, 1829; d Imola, CA, June 23, 1916).

American photographer. He migrated to San Francisco in the early 1850s in the wake of the gold rush. In 1854 Watkins met the daguerreotypist Robert Vance (1825–76), who hired him as a camera operator. Watkins opened his own studio in 1858 and began travelling to photograph the American West. Using a mammoth-plate camera he photographed in Yosemite Valley from 1861 (e.g. Panoramic View of the Yosemite Valley, c. 1865; Washington, DC, Lib. Congr.). In spring 1867 Watkins opened his first public gallery and sent 30 of his mammoth prints to the Exposition Universelle in Paris, where he was awarded a medal.

These transcendental views were praised in the early photographic journals by many writers, including Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94), and influenced the US Congress to make the Valley a national park. By making purposefully artistic images, Watkins became one of the best-known landscape photographers, with an international reputation. Using artistic devices also engaged by artists such as such as Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne—radical framing, deep-space perspective and intruding foreground objects—Watkins created imagery with a new, more expansive and visceral impact. Watkins used a specially constructed camera yielding negatives that measured 18×20 inches (457×508 mm); his framed prints had the physical presence of paintings in an era when most photographs were small and confined to albums. The ...

Article

Hans Christian Adam

[Johann] ( Josef )

(b Bilin, Bohemia [now Bílina, Czech Republic], Dec 20, 1848; d Vienna, 1903).

Austrian photographer of Bohemian birth. He attended the Kunstakademien in Leipzig and Munich from 1866 to 1867 and taught drawing from 1873 at the Mittelschule in Komotau [now Chomutov], Bohemia, and from 1875 in Vienna. In 1890 he took his first photographs and joined the Wiener Camera-Klub, where in 1891 he met Hugo Henneberg and in 1894 Heinrich Kühn, the three becoming closely associated. In 1894 Watzek became a member of the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the . He worked first of all with platinum, then with gum prints, and from 1896 made coloured gum prints. Finally, with Heinrich Kuehn and Hugo Henneberg, he perfected the techniques of coloured gum printing and combination printing. He exhibited with Kuehn and Henneberg under the group name of Trifolium (Das Kleeblatt) from 1897 to 1903 and travelled with them in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. From 1898 to 1902 he corresponded with Alfred Stieglitz....

Article

(b Lansdown, nr Bath, c. 1860; d Elstree, 1939).

English photographer and scientist . He studied architecture but took up photography before completing his studies. John Wellington collaborated with George Eastman of the Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, in the 1880s and became the first manager of the Kodak works in Harrow, Middx (1891–3). He then moved to Elliot and Sons, Barnet, Greater London, and later, with his brother-in-law H. H. Ward, he founded the company of Wellington and Ward, manufacturers of photographic plates, films and papers, of which he was scientific and technical Director. As a photographer he made all his own cameras, printing frames and emulsions, and coated his own plates. Wellington cannot be identified with any particular school of aesthetics, since his work varied greatly from pictorial landscapes to the period between c. 1912 and 1929 when he produced sensitive studies of his young family (e.g. Mother’s Jewels) and pictorial photographs of domestic scenes of family and friends. Some of his later works could have been photographs taken for publicity purposes....

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

(b Besançon, 1812; d Paris, 1882).

French photography critic and writer. After preparing for a life in engineering and business at the Ecole des Arts et Manufactures in Paris, Wey soon abandoned his studies to enter the literary world. With patronage from Charles Nodier (1783–1844), a luminary of the Parisian literary community, Wey obtained a position as an archivist, which helped to supplement his writing career. He is known to the art historians today primarily for his writings on photography published as a series of articles in the journal La Lumière throughout 1851. In this journal, Wey contributed commentaries on photographic portraiture; the art of making lithographic prints from photographs; and the relative value of different photographic methods (where he argued for the calotype process over the daguerreotype). Wey also advocated strongly for the use of photography as a tool to record, reproduce, and transport paintings, sculptures, and other three-dimensional art objects; these reproductions, he argued, would allow the study and appreciation of art objects to extend beyond the home and museum. Unlike some of his contemporaries at the British Museum, such as Roger Fenton, who argued for a similar use of the camera as recording device, Wey himself never practised photography. He nevertheless weighed in on the debate over authorial priority in photography, which was framed by the ongoing legal battle in England over William Henry Fox Talbot’s claim to the invention of the positive–negative photographic process. These writings by Wey were influenced in part by his relationship with the French Realist painter Gustave Courbet, who shared Wey’s critical engagement with the supposed verisimilitude of photography....

Article

J. P. Ward

(b Gloucester, Feb 6, 1802; d Paris, Oct 19, 1875).

English physicist and photographic inventor . He began his career as a musical instrument maker and was professor of Experimental Physics at King’s College, London, by 1834. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1838 and was knighted in 1868. He is usually remembered for contributions to acoustics and electric telegraphy, but his interests also included optics and photography. From 1832 he established the principle of stereoscopy and constructed the first stereoscopes. In 1838 Wheatstone presented a long paper on the subject, which discussed his discovery that an illusion of a three-dimensional object could be produced from two slightly different flat pictures viewed simultaneously, one by each eye. He called the instrument that he devised to view the pictures the stereoscope. Although it was received enthusiastically, interest in the stereoscope was purely scientific until the invention of photography. Wheatstone then persuaded his close associate William Henry Fox Talbot, and later ...

Article

Terence Pitts

(b West Carlisle, OH, April 8, 1871; d Mexico City, July 8, 1925).

American photographer and teacher . A self-taught photographer, he began taking photographs in 1893 and soon developed a style that showed the influence of Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints. He was elected to the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the group of Pictorial photographers in 1900 and was a leading member of the Photo-Secession from 1902. His evocative photographs of rural landscapes and of his family celebrate the joys and virtues of the simple, middle-class way of life that existed in the USA before World War I (e.g. Ring Toss , 1899; New York, Met.)

By 1906 White was already a major figure in American photography and moved to New York, where he began a close professional and artistic relationship with Alfred Stieglitz that lasted until 1912. His work was published in Camera Work in July 1903, Jan 1905, July 1908, July 1909 and Oct 1910. In 1908 he began teaching photography, founding in ...

Article

Camara Dia Holloway

(b Philadelphia, PA, Feb 5, 1948).

American photographer, curator and scholar. Willis was born in North Philadelphia to a hairdresser mother and a policeman father who was an amateur photographer. Within a familial and communal context, Willis learned that photographs could function as powerful statements of African American identity. These ideas were reinforced by reading her family’s copy of the publication The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955) that featured the photographs of Roy DeCarava, a major African American photographer. She also attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Harlem on My Mind in 1969. Willis earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1975 and an MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 1979. Inspired by the quilting and storytelling traditions in her family, Willis developed a practice that combined her photographs, family photographs and other elements into autobiographical quilts. Her later works focused more on the female body.

From 1980 to 1992...

Article

Julie Lawson

(b Banffshire [now Grampian], Feb 7, 1823; d Aberdeen, March 9, 1893).

Scottish photographer and painter. He served an apprenticeship as a carpenter but decided to become a painter and trained at art schools in Edinburgh and London. After several years as a drawing-master in Aberdeen, he joined the photographic business of John Hay jr in 1853. In 1855 Wilson opened his own photographic studio in Aberdeen. By the 1860s it was one of the most prolific and successful photographic businesses in Scotland. He won international acclaim as a landscape photographer and was particularly famed for his instantaneous photographs such as View in Leith Docks (undated albumen print; Edinburgh, N.P.G.), which makes telling use of contre-jour effects in the silhouetting of ships’ masts against the sky. He received royal patronage, becoming photographer to Queen Victoria in Scotland. At the International Exhibition of 1862, Wilson was awarded a medal for ‘the beauty of his small pictures of clouds, shipping, waves etc. from nature’. From ...

Article

Leslie Heiner

[Carl; Karl] ( Ferdinand )

(b Siegburg, nr Bonn, Feb 19, 1828; d St Louis, MO, Nov 28, 1862).

American painter and photographer of German birth. He arrived in St Louis in 1843. From 1846 to 1850 he studied painting under the St Louis artist Leon de Pomarede (1807–92). In 1852 he continued his studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he worked with Josef Fay (1813–75) and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze until about 1856. In 1858, having once more based himself in St Louis, he travelled up the Mississippi in order to draw and photograph Indians. Wimar joined a party of the American Fur Trading Company and made several journeys between 1858 and 1860 up the Mississippi, Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in search of Indian subjects. His painting, the Buffalo Hunt (1860; St Louis, MO, Washington U., Gal. A.), became one of the original works in the collection of the Western Academy of Art. In 1861 Wimar was commissioned to decorate the rotunda of the St Louis Court-house with scenes of the settlement of the West (mostly destr.)...

Article

Matico Josephson

American photography gallery. The first commercially successful photography gallery in New York, founded in 1969 by Lee D. Witkin, and originally located at 237 East 60th Street. Witkin was briefly the only specialized photography dealer in New York. Although this monopoly came to an end in 1971, the gallery played an important role in developing the market for photographic prints in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Witkin Gallery showed a broad range of work by photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, André Kertész, Brassaï, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, whom Lee Witkin sought out in the United States and in Europe. Witkin did not confine his efforts to the older generation, nor to any single genre. The gallery soon hosted encounters between photographers, collectors, and museum curators. By the mid-1970s, Witkin had also shown the work of avant-garde photographers Duane Michals, Les Krims, Jerry Uelsmann, and Lee Friedlander, photojournalistic work by W. Eugene Smith, Marion Palfi (...

Article

Chr. Will

( Arnold )

(b Amsterdam, Aug 13, 1860; d Amsterdam, April 13, 1923).

Dutch painter, printmaker, photographer and critic . He came from an old Amsterdam family of wealthy aristocrats with strong cultural ties. From 1876 to 1884 he was a pupil of August Allebé at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. J. W. Kaiser (1813–1900) and Rudolf Stang (1831–1927) instructed him in graphic arts. In 1880 he co-founded St Luke’s Society of Artists with Jacobus van Looy and Antoon Derkinderen. In 1882 he visited Paris with van Looy. Between 1883 and 1888 he worked regularly at his family estate, Ewijkshoeve, south of Baarn, often staying there in the company of artistic friends—writers and musicians, as well as painters. With Jan Veth he founded the Nederlandsche Etsclub (Dutch Etching Club), which from 1885 made a strong contribution to the revival of etching in the Netherlands. Witsen was the first among his circle of friends to have his own etching press and also a camera....