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Article

Geoffrey Batchen

(b Devon, Dec 22, 1801; d Hampstead, London, June 7, 1885).

English photographic studio proprietor. Beginning his career in London as a coal merchant, in June 1840 Beard bought the rights to a daguerreotype camera featuring a concave mirror invented by Alexander Wolcott in New York. With reliable portraits not yet able to be made, Beard hired the services of John Frederick Goddard, who by September 1840 claimed to reduce exposure times to about one minute, an innovation patented by Beard. With further refinements in hand, on 23 March 1841 Beard opened the first commercial photography studio in London, housed in the Royal Polytechnic Institution, and began making small ninth-plate portraits, with exposure times of between four and seven seconds on a bright day. His first customers included members of the lower aristocracy and wealthier members of the middle class, such as the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth and the American abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Threatened with the closure of his studio, on ...

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....

Article

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

revised by Stephanie Spencer and Sophie Gordon

(b London, Aug 13, 1815; d London, May 15, 1894).

English printmaker and photographer. His first known works are architectural drawings exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1840s, which documented buildings designed by his architect father Francis Octavius Bedford (1784–1858). He quickly turned to engraving, design, and lithography, working for Standidge & Co., and later Day & Son. He continued to produce lithographs until c. 1858, contributing to many significant publications on British design and manufacturing. He took up photography around 1853 initially to assist with the accuracy of his lithographic work, photographing works of art in the Marlborough House museum (later the South Kensington Museum) for Henry Cole. In 1854 he exhibited for the first time in the Photographic Society of London exhibition. Bedford continued to exhibit widely in British and international exhibitions throughout the 1850s and 1860s. He concentrated primarily on landscape and architectural scenes, often made during annual tours of southern England and Wales (...

Article

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1873; d New Orleans, 1949).

American photographer. Bellocq is known to have worked as a commercial photographer in New Orleans from 1895 to 1940 and to have photographed for local shipbuilders and in the Chinese sector of New Orleans, although none of this work apparently survives. His photography is known only through prints made by Lee Friedlander from the 89 gelatin dry plate negatives found after Bellocq’s death. These negatives date from c. 1912 and are sympathetic portraits of prostitutes of New Orleans and interior views of their workplaces. Known as the Storyville Portraits, 34 were shown by MOMA, New York, in a travelling exhibition in 1970–71. Bellocq’s life was the subject of Pretty Baby (1978), a film by Louis Malle.

E. J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits: Photographs from the New Orleans Red-light District, circa 1912 (exh. cat. by J. Szarkowski and L. Friedlander, New York, MOMA, 1970)G. Badger: ‘Viewed’, British Journal of Photography...

Article

Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...

Article

(Wilhelm)

(b Rotterdam, July 13, 1873; d Goirle, May 4, 1959).

Dutch photographer. He first studied painting at the Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam (1892–6). In 1901 he started to work as a self-taught photographer, taking pictures of farmers and gypsies in the province of North Brabant, a typical subject for a pictorial photographer at the time. From 1907 to 1917 he worked in Rotterdam as a photographer, taking pictures of the town and its inhabitants. Pictorially the photographs bear comparison with the work of the Dutch Impressionists, the Hague school and George Hendrik Breitner. Their picturesque quality is enhanced by the use of the gum bichromate and oil pigment processes (see Photography, §I).

Berssenbrugge’s portraits were unusual for their spontaneity, lack of artistic background and rejection of retouching. He insisted, however, on the use of certain printing techniques, in particular his own so-called ‘Fototechnick’. Among his best portraits are those of members of contemporary artistic circles, for example that of the violinist ...

Article

Hans Christian Adam

(b Breslau, ?1803/4; d Dresden, Feb 20, 1850).

German photographer. Son of the painter Raphael Biow (1771–1836), he was initially a painter, lithographer and writer. He opened the first photographic studio in Hamburg in 1841 and worked with Carl Ferdinand Stelzner from 1842 to 1843. A series of 46 daguerreotypes (3 extant) of the Great Fire of Hamburg in 1842 has been attributed to Biow (Kaufhold, 1989) and forms an early example of photographic reportage. Travelling to cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Dresden, he took portraits of the famous, including Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, Alexander von Humboldt (1847) and Friedrich Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia (all Hamburg, Mus. Kst. & Gew.). In 1848 he photographed the members of the Frankfurt National Assembly for his portfolio work Deutsche National-Gallerie, containing lithographic reproductions of his daguerreotypes. Kempe describes Biow as the ‘first photographer to collect people’. The essential quality of his photographs is their monumental unity. He used larger formats than other daguerreotypists; his plate size ranged from 216×162 mm to 270×320 mm....

Article

Patricia Strathern

French family of photographers. Louis-Auguste Bisson (Bisson aîné, Bisson fils; b Paris, 1814; d Paris, 1876) studied under Louis Daguerre and began to photograph professionally in 1840. He made 200 daguerreotypes of human types and in 1849–51 produced portraits of 900 members of the Assemblée Nationale. He also photographed Classical monuments and sculpture. He was a founder-member of the Societé Française de Photographie and became official photographer to Pope Pius IX. His brother Auguste-Rosalie Bisson (Bisson jeune, Bisson fils; b Paris, 1826; d Paris, 1900), with whom Louis-Auguste worked (as Bisson frères) on many projects, frequently worked in Switzerland, where he made magnificent photographs during the first and second photographic ascents of Mont Blanc (e.g. The Ascent of Mont Blanc: The Passage des Echelles, 1862; see Berger-Levrault, pl. 24). He travelled in Egypt in 1869, producing 450 photographs in nine months. He photographed the siege of Paris in ...

Article

Patricia Strathern

(b Lille, Aug 2, 1802; d Lille, April 28, 1872).

French photographer. A chemist by training, he learnt about William Henry Fox Talbot’s negative/positive calotype process in 1846 and devoted himself to perfecting the technique. An early example of his work is the picture of a Young Woman Knitting in a Drawing Room (before 1847; see Berger-Levrault cat., no. 25a). He did research into ways of improving darkroom techniques and processes, and he was the first to propose developing the positive print and printing on albumen paper, in 1851 (see Photography, §I). That same year, with his associate Hippolyte Fockedey, he founded the Imprimerie Photographique in Lille, the first large-scale photographic printers. At a time when photographic albums and books illustrated with photographs were very popular in Europe, his business was a great success. The first work to be produced was a series of 36 photographic albums, with three issues a month. He published albums of his own work as well as that of famous contemporary photographers such as ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Schielo, June 13, 1865; d Berlin, Dec 9, 1932).

German photographer. He studied as a sculptor and modeller in the ironworks and foundry at Mägdesprung from 1882 to 1884 and then at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin (1884–90). Between 1890 and 1896 he travelled to Italy, Greece and North Africa with Professor M. Meurer (1839–1916), who had a theory that natural forms were inherently reproduced in art. With funds from the Prussian government, Blossfeldt made a series of plant photographs for use in education. In 1898 he was given a teaching post at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin, where he set up an archive for plant photographs. In the 1920s his photographs became very popular, and a collection, Urformen der Kunst, was published. They were seen as forerunners of Neue Sachlichkeit. It was not only the clearcut quality of the reproductions that won him esteem, but also the way in which the plant was revealed as the basis for a formal language of construction that could also be applied to objects and architecture. More of his photographs were published in ...

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

(b Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, March 8, 1831; d Alès, April 9, 1885).

French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in 1860 with the French Army to intervene in the conflict between the Druse and the Maronites, Bonfils decided to return to Beirut in 1867 with his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis and son Adrian to establish a photographic studio under the name La Maison Bonfils. From there Bonfils began his photographic tour of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and sold his views back in his studio. These views included (he claimed) 15,000 albumen prints and 9000 stereoscopic cards. La Maison Bonfils became well known throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe as a première photographic studio and attracted many tourists seeking photographs of the surrounding area and peoples. Bonfils’s success was compounded when he presented his photographs to the Société Française de Photographie in ...

Article

Antoine Terrasse

(b Fontenay-aux-Roses, nr Paris, Oct 3, 1867; d Le Cannet, Jan 27, 1947).

French painter, printmaker and photographer. He is known particularly for the decorative qualities of his paintings and his individual use of colour. During his life he was associated with other artists, Edouard Vuillard being a good friend, and he was a member of the Nabis.

Bonnard spent some of his childhood at Grand-Lemps in the Isère, where his family owned a house surrounded by a large park. There was a farm adjoining the house, and from an early age he developed a love of nature and animals. After obtaining the baccalauréat at 18, he enrolled in the Law faculty in order to please his father, who wanted him to have a steady job. He graduated when he was 21, and he was sworn in as a barrister in 1889. In the meantime he was already drawing and painting, having enrolled at the Académie Julian, Paris, in 1887. In an attractive ...

Article

Stanley G. Triggs

(b Bristol, 1859; d Newcastle upon Tyne, 1945).

English photographer, active in Canada. He emigrated to Canada in 1882, intent on buying a ranch at Bird’s Hill, Manitoba, 12 miles north-east of Winnipeg. After two years he decided to move further west to the new and fast-growing town of Calgary, Alberta, a divisional point on the new railway line pushing westward to the Pacific. An amateur photographer, he recognized an opportunity to start a photographic business and returned to England in 1885 to purchase professional equipment and supplies. By spring 1886 he was back in Calgary working as a landscape photographer. In 1887 he and his cousin, Ernest May, became partners, operating as Boorne and May. May worked in the business for only two years and was largely responsible for darkroom work, correspondence and some portraits.

Boorne took many outstanding photographs of ranches and activities accompanying wheat farming and cattle-raising. He made frequent photographic trips to the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia along the Canadian Pacific Railway line. In summer ...

Article

Arthur Ollman

(b Mucklestone, Staffs, 1834; d Nottingham, April 24, 1912).

English photographer. He photographed extensively in India between 1863 and 1869 and is known for the elegant compositional structure of his images and for the rugged conditions under which he worked. He began photographing in 1853 in the Midlands. A decade later he moved to India and established a photographic firm in Simla with Charles Shepherd. His legendary Himalayan expeditions in 1863, 1864 and 1866 produced hundreds of dramatic views (London, V&A). His architectural studies were widely sold; his mountain landscapes and ethnographic studies, few of which survive, sold less well. On returning to England in 1870 he left the partnership of Bourne and Shepherd and became a successful manufacturer, although continuing to work as a photographer and watercolour painter until his death.

Article

Mark W. Sullivan

(b Fairhaven, MA, April 30, 1823; d New York, April 25, 1892).

American painter and photographer. Bradford became a full-time artist about 1853, after spending a few years in the wholesale clothing business. In 1855 he set up a studio in Fairhaven, MA, and made a living by painting ship portraits. At the same time he studied with the slightly more experienced marine painter Albert van Beest (1820–60), and they collaborated on several works. By 1860 Bradford had moved to New York and was starting to gain a reputation for such paintings of the coast of Labrador as Ice Dwellers Watching the Invaders (c. 1870; New Bedford, MA, Whaling Mus.) and Greenland (), which were based on his own photographs and drawings (e.g. An Incident of Whaling and An Arctic Summer: Boring through the Pack in Melville Bay, 1871). From 1872 to 1874 he was in London, lecturing on the Arctic and publishing his book The Arctic Regions...

Article

(b Warren County, NY, 1823; d New York, Jan 15, 1896).

American photographer. At the age of 16 Brady left his home town and moved to nearby Saratoga. There he learnt how to manufacture jewellery cases and met William Page, who taught him the techniques of painting. Impressed by his ability, Page took Brady to New York in 1841 to study with Samuel F(inley) B(reese) Morse at the Academy of Design, and to attend Morse’s school of daguerreotypy; there Brady learnt the details of photographic technique. After experimenting with the medium from 1841 to 1843, Brady set up his Daguerrean Miniature Gallery in New York (1844), where he both took and exhibited daguerreotypes. Very soon he established a considerable reputation and in 1845 won first prize in two classes of the daguerreotype competition run by the American Institute. He concentrated on photographic portraits, especially of famous contemporary Americans, such as the statesman Henry Clay (1849; Washington, DC, Lib. Congr.). In ...

Article

Sanda Miller

(b Hobitza, Gorj, Feb 19, 1876; d Paris, March 16, 1957).

French sculptor, draughtsman, painter, and photographer of Romanian birth. He was one of the most influential 20th-century sculptors, but he left a relatively small body of work centred on 215 sculptures, of which about 50 are thought to have been lost or destroyed.

The fifth of seven children of a family of peasants, he left his tiny village c. 1887 for Slatina, after which he made his way to Craiova, the provincial capital of Oltenia. There he became a student at the School of Arts and Crafts in 1894. Mechanical technology, industrial design, mathematics, and physics figured prominently on his syllabus with some theoretical studies. He did not, therefore, receive a traditional academic training in sculpture; in fact he began studying at the newly founded Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest, but even there instruction was still at an experimental stage, particularly in sculpture.

Brancusi is thought to have been prolific in his student years in Craiova. Various objects subsequently discovered on the premises of his old school have been attributed to him, some of them perhaps as collaborations with other fellow students, including a walnut casket (Craiova, Maria C. S. Nicolǎescu-Plopşor priv. col., see Brezianu, ...

Article

Patricia Strathern

(b Besançon, 1812; d Dornach, 1877).

French photographer. He worked in Paris as a textile designer, discovering his interest in photography in 1853, when he photographed a collection of 300 studies of flowers intended to serve as models for painters and fabric designers (see fig.). He set up a studio in Paris in 1868. His subjects were very diverse—reproductions of works of art, architecture (e.g. the Peristyle of the New Opéra, c. 1874; see Regards sur la photographie en France au XIXe siècle, pl. 30), portraits, landscapes, still-lifes and unposed, spontaneous photographs of city life. He travelled widely in Europe and also in Egypt, producing panoramic landscape photographs. He published an album of his photographs of the landscapes of Alsace in 1858. From 1859 onwards he collaborated with many other French photographers, and from 1858 to 1862 he photographed landscapes in Switzerland, Germany and France. He was a member of the Société Française de Photographie from ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Eisenach, 1882; d Mexico City, 1954).

German photographer, active in Mexico. As a young man he travelled through Africa, taking photographs; an archive of some of these glass plates survives. He reached Mexico by way of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, and took his first Mexican photographs in the Yucatán peninsula. He then opened a studio in Mexico City and, together with Augustín Victor Casasola, became one of the most important photographers of the Revolution (1910–17). What he loved most, however, was the beauty of the Mexican landscape. His book Malerisches Mexico was published by Ernst Wachsmuth in Germany in 1923, the same year in which he collaborated with Manuel Alvarez Bravo, later to become Mexico’s leading photographer. Brehme’s photography was not merely reportage. He sought to capture the spirit of the country rather than isolated events as, for example, in his photograph of Pancho Villa’s horsemen, each in direct eye-contact with the photographer. In this he was inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, who was one of the first artists to capture the Mexican temperament in his woodcuts. Occasionally, indeed, Posada worked from photographs by Brehme and by Casasola. More than most foreigners, Brehme was able to feel real empathy with Mexico, and he became an impressive interpreter not only of its customs and traditions, but also of its historical monuments and festivals....