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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

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

Camara Dia Holloway

(b Virginia, 1825; d Honolulu, HI, May 3, 1904).

African American photographer. Ball’s parents, William and Susan Ball, were freeborn Americans of African descent. J. P. Ball learned how to make daguerreotypes from a black Bostonian, John P. Bailey. He opened his first photographic enterprise in Cincinnati, OH, in 1845. Black-owned businesses seemed viable in this abolitionist stronghold and key conduit to the West. After a failed first venture and time as an itinerant photographer, he returned and opened Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West in 1849, which became one of the largest and most successful photographic studios in the region with an enthusiastic multi-racial clientele. Ball hired other African Americans as operators, including his brother, Thomas Ball, his brother-in-law, Alexander Thomas, and the African American landscape painter, Robert S. Duncanson.

An activist for abolition, Ball produced a painted panorama that illustrated the history of African enslavement in 1855 and authored the accompanying pamphlet to great acclaim. With a national reputation and important portrait commissions from such cultural icons as Frederick Douglass and Jenny Lind, Ball expanded with a second studio operated by his brother-in-law who had become a favorite with clients. Together they started an additional studio, the Ball & Thomas Photographic Art Gallery. Ball’s Cincinnati enterprises survived well into the 1880s in the hands of Thomas and other Ball relatives since they remained current with photographic technologies....

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

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

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 ...

Article

Margaret Harker

(b Boston, MA, June 11, 1882; d Colwyn Bay, Oct 23, 1966).

American photographer, active also in Britain. Coburn was greatly influenced by his mother, a keen amateur photographer, and began taking photographs at the age of eight. He travelled to England in 1899 with his mother and his cousin, F(red) Holland Day. Coburn developed substantial contacts in the photography world in New York and London, and in 1900 he took part in the New School of American Pictorial Photography exhibition (London, Royal Phot. Soc.), which Day organized. In 1902 he was elected a member of the Photo-Secession, founded by Alfred Stieglitz to raise the standards of Pictorial photography (see Pictorial photography). A year later he was elected a member of the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in Britain.

Some of Coburn’s most impressive photographs are portraits. He worked for a year in the studio of the leading New York portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier and became friendly with George Bernard Shaw, who introduced him to a number of the most celebrated literary, artistic, and political figures in Britain, many of whom, including Shaw, he photographed (for example see Gernsheim and Gernsheim, p. 13). Shaw also wrote the preface to the catalogue for the exhibition of Coburn’s work at the Royal Photographic Society, London, in ...

Article

Mary Christian

(b White Water, WI, 1868; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 21, 1954).

American photographer. A self-taught photographer, in 1887 he became a partner in a portrait studio in Seattle, where he experimented with new subject-matter. He decided to make the photography of native peoples his speciality and accompanied anthropologists on the Harriman Expedition to Alaska in 1899 and to Montana in 1900. In 1901 he conceived a vast project to document photographically the lives, customs and folklore of the native American tribes and to record their customs. President Theodore Roosevelt introduced him to J. Pierpont Morgan, who sponsored Curtis’s work and his publication of the luxurious 20-volume compendium The North American Indian (1907–30).

Curtis’s photographs in The North American Indian reflected the contemporary view of American Indians as ‘noble savages’. He judged his methods to be far superior to those of his predecessor, George Catlin. In wishing to document the vanishing culture of the rapidly Europeanized American Indian, he romanticized the settings of his photographs, sometimes adding props consisting of ‘scalps’, head-dresses and ceremonial costume, suggesting, for example, the inherent warrior nature of the men and the promiscuity of the young women. To reduce the intervention of contemporary settings, he freely altered negatives and reduced the depth of field using a large aperture to soften the surroundings of his subject. His portraits adopted the tight cropping and full-face or profile formats characteristic of ethnographic photography. His formal mastery and his concern with creating works of art as well as documents of a culture distinguished him from other contemporary photographers of the ‘vanishing race’. He also made a film of the Kwakiutl people called ...

Article

Donna Stein

(b Hollywood, CA, June 21, 1941).

American photographer, educator, and author. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (1959–62), where she studied drawing and painting. She completed her education at San Francisco State University (BA 1963, MA 1966) where she studied with Jack Welpott (1923–2007), whom she married (1971–7). Dater’s perceptive portraits of women and men and challenging photographs of the nude secured her international reputation.

Her earliest self-portraits date from 1963, using her own image to consider issues of gender, sexuality and the female role in society as well as the hidden side of herself. In 1980, she took the first of 10 trips throughout the Southwest, creating a series of black-and-white self-portraits in the landscape. She also photographed herself in color creating staged tableaus, not unlike Cindy Sherman’s fictional archetypes that satirize iconic roles thrust upon women by society.

Dater has explored the interpretive portrait genre from the beginning of her career to the present. Living and working in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco during the 1960s, she was stimulated by feminism and other counter-culture movements (...

Article

Margaret Harker

(b Norwood, MA, July 8, 1864; d Norwood, Nov 2, 1933).

American photographer. He was an eccentric who sought to express his ideas on life and art through Pictorial photography, which he took up in 1887, frequently by interpretations of two opposites—the sacred and the profane. He regarded Classical Greece as the ideal and he pursued an intensive study of the human form, attempting to represent physical perfection in his photographs. These were in medium or large format, with mainly platinum prints.

Day was a cultivated and sensitive man of independent means. As well as studying painting, he was an admirer of Keats, owning a fine collection of the poet’s manuscripts, letters and early editions. He published books as a hobby (1893–9), co-founding the Boston publishing house of Copeland and Day and importing the then scandalous works of Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde.

He became obsessed with photography, and in January 1896 he was elected a member of the ...

Article

Elizabeth Johns

(Cowperthwaite)

(b Philadelphia, PA, July 25, 1844; d Philadelphia, June 25, 1916).

American painter, sculptor and photographer. He was a portrait painter who chose most of his sitters and represented them in powerful but often unflattering physical and psychological terms. Although unsuccessful throughout much of his career, since the 1930s he has been regarded as one of the greatest American painters of his era.

His father Benjamin Eakins (1818–99), the son of a Scottish–Irish immigrant weaver, was a writing master and amateur artist who encouraged Thomas Eakins’s developing talent. Eakins attended the Central High School in Philadelphia, which stressed skills in drawing as well as a democratic respect for disciplined achievement. He developed an interest in human anatomy and began visiting anatomical clinics. After studying from 1862 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where instruction was minimal, Eakins went to Paris to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, in the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme. From 1866 to the end of ...

Article

Brian Coe

(b Waterville, NY, July 12, 1854; d Rochester, NY, March 14, 1932).

American inventor and photographer. He took up photography in 1877, and in 1878, dissatisfied with the cumbersome wet collodion process, he started making the new gelatin dry plates (see Photography §I). He decided to manufacture them commercially and invented a machine to end the need to hand-coat the glass. In January 1881 he founded the Eastman Dry Plate Company.

Eastman’s desire to bring photography to more people, and to satisfy the needs of the growing number of amateur photographers, led him to develop many new products. In 1885 his roll-holder adaptor allowed the heavy and fragile glass plates to be replaced by a roll of sensitive paper; the success of this device inspired him to design a new camera with the roll-holder built in. The result was the Kodak camera (1888), for which Eastman chose the name; it was designed for the general public, who had only to point it in the right direction and release the shutter. When the 100-exposure roll provided with the camera had been exposed, the whole apparatus was returned to Eastman’s factory, where the paper rollfilm was developed and printed, the camera reloaded and returned to the customer; ‘You press the button, we do the rest’ was his slogan....

Article

John Fuller

(b Cuba, May 13, 1856; d Falmouth, Cornwall, May 12, 1936).

English photographer. He lived in Cuba and the USA until his widowed English mother took her two sons to England in 1869. He studied medicine at King’s College Hospital, London (1879), and later received a BA (1883) and a Bachelor of Medicine degree (1885) from Cambridge University. While at Cambridge he studied photography, and after a brief medical practice he left the profession in 1886 for photography and writing. After becoming a member of the Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1883, he achieved recognition writing for such journals as Amateur Photographer.

In East Anglia Emerson used his nautical skills and knowledge of natural history while photographing the fen country and its people. The results were albums such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (London, 1886; see fig.), which he co-authored with the English painter Thomas F. Goodall (1856–1944), ...

Article

Terence Pitts

(b New York, Sept 19, 1865; d Munich, Dec 16, 1936).

American photographer and teacher, active also in Germany. After attending the Bayerische Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (from 1886), he began exhibiting his photography in New York. Around 1899 he came to the attention of Alfred Stieglitz and was praised by the critic Sadakichi Hartmann for the intelligent combination of painterly and photographic effects in his work. He became a member of the influential transatlantic photographic society, the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the (1900), and was a founder-member of Stieglitz’s Photo-Secession.

Around 1901 he moved permanently to Germany, where he became a lecturer at the Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Photographie und Reproduktionstechnik, Munich. When Stieglitz visited him in 1907, the two made some of the first artistic experiments in colour photography with the newly developed autochrome process (see Photography, §I). In 1913 Eugene was appointed to the chair in Pictorial photography at the Akademie für Graphische Künste, Leipzig. Two years later, he renounced his American citizenship and became a German citizen....

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Berlin, Jan 8, 1869; d New Milford, CT, Aug 9, 1942).

American photographer of German birth. He studied philology at the universities of Berlin and Jena from 1888 to 1894 and spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1896 he emigrated to the USA and opened a portrait studio in San Francisco in 1897. He first achieved wide publicity with his photographs of the earthquake of 1906. He won further acclaim with the publication of Pictures of Old Chinatown, a series of photographs taken with the aid of a concealed camera. He also photographed in Japan.

In 1911 Genthe moved to New York, where he established a studio on Fifth Avenue and worked as a freelance photographer for numerous magazines and newspapers, specializing in dance and theatre portraits, such as Isadora Duncan: 24 Studies. His later reputation was founded on his portraits of famous personalities. Among his subjects were Greta Garbo and prominent statesmen such as Fridtjof Nansen and Theodore Roosevelt. In his best works faces emerge mysteriously from the darkness, emphasizing atmosphere at the expense of detail. His autobiography ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

Sheryl Conkelton

(b Keesville, NY, April 4, 1843; d New York, June 30, 1942).

American photographer. Jackson began his career as a colourist and retoucher in photographic studios in New York and Vermont. After enlisting in the infantry and working as a sketcher of camp life, he began to travel. He reached Omaha, NE, in 1867 and set up a photographic studio with his brother, Edward Jackson. He began to make expeditions along the Union Pacific Railroad, photographing the Pawnee, Omaha, and Winnebago people, and points of interest in and around Omaha. He gained a contract with the E. & H. T. Anthony Company to supply them with 10,000 views of American scenery. In 1870 the government surveyor Ferdinand V. Hayden visited Jackson’s studio and invited him to join his US Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. Jackson worked with Hayden every year until 1878, using wet collodion negatives to photograph the Oregon trail (1870), Yellowstone (1871), the Teton Mountains (...

Article

Fiona Dejardin

revised by Mary Warner Marien

(b Grafton, WV, Jan 15, 1864; d New Orleans, LA, March 16, 1952).

American photographer. She studied art at the Académie Julian in Paris (1883–5) and at the Art Students League, Washington, DC. In 1888, in order to write and illustrate articles for popular magazines, she learnt photography from Thomas William Smillie (1843–1917), Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Photography Division, Washington, DC. On opening a professional portrait studio in 1894, she became known for images of presidents, government officials and other notables. Her interest in public affairs and contemporary issues, such as the lives of coal-mine workers, led her to chronicle student life at Hampton Institute in Virginia and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where African American students were educated in the trades. In 1904 Johnston joined the Photo-Secession. She was one of the first professional photojournalists in the United States, and she is often referred to as America’s first female photojournalist. Johnston also arranged a 1920 Paris exhibition of photographs by professional and amateur women photographers. She was a juror for the second Philadelphia Salon of Photography, received four consecutive Carnegie Foundation grants to document historic gardens and architecture of the South and was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in ...