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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

R. L. Harley

(b CT, Dec 23, 1819; d Cedarville, NY, Feb 4, 1902).

American photographer . Barnard began to take photographs c. 1842 and opened a daguerreotype studio in Oswego, NY, in 1843. His two views of a fire at Ames Mills, Burning Mills at Oswego, NY, [5 July] 1853 (Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.), are remarkable examples of early daguerreotype reportage. In the same year he was secretary of the New York State Daguerrean Association. After purchasing Clark’s Gallery, Syracuse, in 1854, he began to produce ambrotypes; in the latter half of the decade he learnt the collodion process.

Barnard took photographs in Cuba in 1860, but these works are untraced. Shortly before the American Civil War (1861–5), he was employed by Mathew B. Brady in New York and, possibly, Washington, DC. Barnard made some of his earliest known collodions with J. B. Gibson at Bull Run, VA, the site of the first major land battle of the Civil War (e.g. ...

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

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

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

Sarah Kate Gillespie

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 1, 1800; d Frankford, PA, Aug 10, 1893).

American photographer and scientist. Cornelius was among the vanguard of experimenters with the new daguerreotype process when it was introduced to the United States in the autumn of 1839. He had a background in chemistry and drawing, and was working in his family’s lamp-manufacturing and metalware business in Philadelphia when he learned of the process. Due to his expertise with metallurgy, fellow early experimenter Joseph Saxton (1799–1873) approached him to assist in the production of daguerreotype plates. Cornelius began to experiment on his own, building a camera and acquiring a lens from optician John McAllister. By October or November of 1839 he had created a self-portrait (see fig.), possibly the earliest one using this method in existence. By December Cornelius was working with Dr Paul Beck Goddard, a University of Pennsylvania chemist and physician. Goddard discovered that bromine could be used as an accelerator to sensitize daguerreotype plates, drastically reducing the exposure times and making commercial portraiture a practical reality. With Goddard as a silent partner, Cornelius opened a portrait studio on ...

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

Miwako Tezuka

(b Kien Giang, Vietnam, Oct 9, 1977).

American photographer of Vietnamese birth. Danh’s family fled Vietnam as refugees when he was two years old and eventually immigrated to the USA in the early 1980s. In 2004 he received Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University, California. Danh worked with photography to excavate, revive, and preserve forgotten stories in history, particularly those of manmade atrocities such as the Vietnam War.

Photographic images of disasters, tragedies and figures associated with them have also been the focus of works by such artists as Andy Warhol and Christian Boltanski. Both of these artists use the power of photography to arrest the moment that triggers affective interpretation of pain and sorrow of the subjects of their work. However, Danh’s scientific experiments regarding the process of photography led him to develop a technique that he called “chlorophyll printing.” Danh took photographs found in old magazines and historical archives, created negatives out of them, placed them over still-growing plant leaves and then exposed them to sunlight (for several days or weeks) in order to activate photosynthesis. As the leaf gradually changes color, parts that are not blocked from the sunlight by the overlying negatives remain leafy green, causing an image to emerge in shapes of what had been captured in the original photographs. The leaf can then be encased in resin to preserve the image. For example, in his series ...

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

Nancy E. Green

(b Ipswich, MA, April 6, 1857; d New York, NY, Dec 13, 1922).

American painter, printmaker, photographer, writer and teacher. Dow took art classes in the Boston studio of James M. Stone, where he met Frank Duveneck, who would remain a lifelong friend. He went to Paris in 1884 to study at the Académie Julian with Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre and Gustave(-Clarence-Rodolphe) Boulanger. Dow also took evening classes at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, where the American artist Francis D. Millet (1846–1912) offered critiques of the students’ work. Dow then spent some time in Pont-Aven, where he met Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, and in Concarneau where he sought out the advice of American painter Alexander Harrison (1853–1930). Dow’s painting Au Soir won an honorable mention at the Universal Exposition in 1889 and two of his paintings were accepted that same year for the Paris Salon and were hung on the line (i.e. at eye-level).

Dow returned to Boston where he began independent studies at the Boston Public Library that led him to the work of Japanese artists ...

Article

Sarah Kate Gillespie

(b Merseyside, May 5, 1811; d Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, Jan 4, 1882).

American photographer, chemist, and physician of English birth. Draper was an early experimenter with the daguerreotype who made several technical advancements to the medium. Trained as a chemist and physician, he produced scientific photography relating to chemistry, astronomy, and biology, and was also in the vanguard of photographic portraiture. English-born, Draper immigrated to the United States in 1832, and in 1835 he enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school. Draper later moved to New York City where he became a professor at New York University, holding several positions there from 1839 until 1881. Draper immediately began experimenting with daguerreotyping when it was introduced to the US in the autumn of 1839, taking views of the surrounding streets from the university building. During the winter and spring of 1840 he worked to create daguerreotypes by artificial light, to copy daguerreotypes, and to photographically record the moon’s surface. In the spring of ...

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 ...