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Article

(Edward)

(b Alfred, ME, July 17, 1883; d San Francisco, Nov 11, 1973).

American photographer. Self-taught, Abbe started to produce photographs at the age of 12. From 1898 to 1910 he worked in his father’s bookshop and then worked as a reporter for the Washington Post, travelling to Europe in 1910. Having earlier produced photographs of ships and sailors for tourist cards, from 1913 to 1917 he worked as a freelance photojournalist in Virginia. In 1917 he set up a studio in New York, where he produced the first photographic cover for the Saturday Evening Post as well as photographs for Ladies Home Journal, the New York Times and other publications. From 1922 to 1923 he worked as a stills photographer, actor and writer for film studios. Though this was mainly for Mack Sennett in Hollywood, he also worked for D. W. Griffiths as a stills photographer on Way Down East (1920) and accompanied Lilian Gish to Italy to provide stills for Griffiths’s ...

Article

Kyla Mackenzie

(b Nelson, 1949).

New Zealand photographer. Aberhart became a leading photographer in New Zealand from the 1970s with his distinctive 8×10 inch black-and-white photographs, taken with a 19th-century large format Field Camera. He is particularly well known for his images of disappearing cultural history, often melancholic in tone, in New Zealand.

Aberhart’s use of an ‘outmoded’ process for picturing subjects in apparent decay or decline paradoxically re-invigorated them. He was inspired by the documenting traditions of New Zealand’s itinerant 19th-century photographers. His generally provincial subjects included vacant architectural interiors and exteriors, such as domestic houses, Masonic lodges, churches, Maori meeting-houses, and cemeteries, war memorials, museum exhibits, landscapes, and horizons (see A Distant View of Taranaki, 14 February 2009, Auckland, A.G.). Aberhart also produced several compelling portraits, especially those from the late 1970s and early 1980s of his daughters (e.g. Kamala and Charlotte in the Grounds of the Lodge, Tawera, Oxford, 1981; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.)....

Article

Lee Fontanella

(b Mazarambroz, Toledo, Aug 14, 1832; d Toledo, Dec 3, 1914).

Spanish photographer. He moved to Toledo c. 1862, and he and Fernando González Pedroso were the first two professional photographers to set up a permanent establishment there. His suite of 12 vistas de Toledo (Toledo, 1871) consisted of 14 photographs mounted on decorated passe-partouts. Alguacil is known for this format, which he enlarged for certain views contained in the 1870s series of publications of Monumentos artísticos do España (Toledo; R. Amador de los Ríos, ed.). Alguacil is usually identified with this series, in which the views were not limited to Toledo. He also maintained a ‘Museo fotográfico’, produced a series of photographs on San Juan de los Reyes (1895) and in 1906 won the photographic competition in La Mancha for photographing monuments and art objects. The Alguacil archives are located in the town hall in Toledo.

M. Carrero de Dios and others: Toledo en la fotografía de Alguacil, 1832–1914...

Article

Ismeth Raheem

(b Jaffna, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], Sept 26, 1869; d Colombo, July 2, 1910).

Ceylonese photographer. His family had practised photography for three generations. His grandfather, Adolphus Wilhelmus Andree (b 1799), was one of the early pioneers of daguerreotypy in Ceylon, and his father, Adolphus William Andree, had a flourishing photographic business between the 1860s and 1880s with studios in the capital Colombo and the provincial towns of Jaffna, Galle and Matara. At 18, he was already working as an apprentice in the studio of an American photographer at Chatham Street, Colombo, using the ferrotype process (see Photography §I). By 1893 he had established the Hopetown Studio, Slave Island, Colombo, which within a decade was one of the most fashionable and best-equipped in the country. Andree earned several awards at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900 and at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, in 1904. In 1901 the government appointed him as one of its official photographers to cover the visit to Ceylon of the Duke and Duchess of York....

Article

Maria Morris Hambourg

(b Libourne, nr Bordeaux, Feb 12, 1857; d Paris, Aug 4, 1927).

French photographer. An only child of working-class parents, he was orphaned at an early age and went to sea. Determined to be an actor, he managed to study at the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique in Paris for a year but was dismissed to finish his military service. Thereafter he acted for several seasons in the provinces but failed to distinguish himself and left the stage. An interest in painting but lack of facility led him to take up photography in the late 1880s. At this time photography was experiencing unprecedented expansion in both commercial and amateur fields. Atget entered the commercial arena. Equipped with a standard box camera on a tripod and 180×240 mm glass negatives, he gradually made some 10,000 photographs of France that describe its cultural legacy and its popular culture. He printed his negatives on ordinary albumen-silver paper and sold his prints to make a living. Despite the prevailing taste for soft-focus, painterly photography from ...

Article

Fiona Dejardin

(b Rose Bank, Staten Island, NY, March 17, 1866; d New York, June 9, 1952).

American photographer. She was introduced to photography by a friend, Oswall Muller, sometime around 1876, and quickly learnt the complexities of working with a variety of cumbersome cameras, dry-plate negatives and contact printing. As an avid amateur photographer, she documented a social history of a bygone era. Her work, dating between the 1880s and 1930s, recorded a charming portrait of the genteel activities of upper middle-class society on Staten Island. Although her photographs primarily documented the everyday life of the wealthy inhabitants and friends of her home, Clear Comfort, which overlooked New York’s Upper Bay, she also produced a challenging series of images of New York’s Lower East Side. These ‘street types’ were published as a portfolio by the Albertype Company in 1896.

Unlike those of Jacob A. Riis and Lewis W. Hine, Austen’s images of immigrants revealed no concern for social reform, but evidenced a hesitancy and curiosity experienced by both photographer and subject. Her life of stability was abruptly ended by the Stock Market Crash of ...

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

(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

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

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

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

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....

Article

Mattie Boom

(b Rotterdam, Sept 12, 1857; d Amsterdam, June 5, 1923).

Dutch painter and photographer. He trained as a painter and draughtsman at the academy in The Hague. Although the Dutch painter Charles Rochussen taught the students history and landscape painting, Breitner’s interests did not lie in this area. In 1880 he worked for a year in the studio of Willem Maris after his academy training. Maris belonged to the Hague school of painters, who worked in the plein-air tradition of the French Barbizon school. Breitner painted outdoor life with them, although it was not the picturesqueness of the landscape or the Dutch skies that appealed to him. With Van Gogh he roamed the working-class districts of The Hague and through the dockyards of Rotterdam. Both artists recorded the vitality of city life in their sketchbooks. Breitner consciously chose these themes and motifs: he wanted to paint people going about their daily lives, and on his trips through the towns and docks he was constantly in search of motifs and impressions that he could use in his paintings....

Article

Robert Smith

(John)

(b Guernsey, Channel Islands, Feb 28, 1837; d Melbourne, Feb 13, 1918).

Australian photographer of Guernsey birth. After his arrival in South Australia c. 1858, he pursued his interest in photography while working as a hairdresser, becoming a professional photographer in Adelaide in 1867. Economic recession led him to move in 1870 to the neighbouring colony of Victoria, where he worked as hairdresser and photographer in the goldfields settlement of Talbot. By 1871 he was able to open a studio in the larger town of Bendigo, achieving commercial success with carte-de-visite portraits and local views. He had an interest in art, having tried his hand at painting, and became a precursor of Pictorial photography, converting the formally posed group portrait into the conversation piece and producing landscape scenes with human interest genre subjects and picturesque effects to meet a growing nationalistic demand.

To take advantage of his increasing success Caire moved to Melbourne in 1876 to exploit its rapid urban growth as subject-matter, and to use it as a base for forays into the countryside, seeking novel or spectacular subjects. Expansion of the railway system and his adoption of the dry plate process gave him greater mobility, and he was able to photograph increasingly remote localities, culminating in an expedition to Mt Buffalo, in ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Yarumal, 1869; d Medellín, 1934).

Colombian photographer. After studying photography with Emiliano Mejía, he established a photographic studio in Yarumal in 1898, working there until his move in 1903 to Medellín. He added the prefixes to his surname, Calle, to declare his identification with other people ‘of the street’: nonconformists, bohemians and those marginalized by society. He openly aligned himself with the underprivileged social classes in his photographs, stating his opposition to the arbitrary and vengeful aspects of his society by recording some of the most moving events of his day, including the last executions by firing squad to take place in Colombia. This series included photographs of prisoners awaiting their deaths while facing their coffins and as bullet-ridden corpses.

De la Calle was also an exceptional portraitist, usually of anonymous and unsophisticated people to whom he gave great dignity, such as proudly barefooted peasants who boldly displayed the instruments and tools of their work. He sometimes presented his figures with elements such as revolvers and cartridge belts to indicate his political and social rebellion. Through such perceptive images he recorded the urban, industrial and commercial development of Medellín....

Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...