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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

Mary Panzer

[Hiller, John Arthur; Hiller Sr, Lejaren]

(b Milwaukee, WI, 1880; d New York, 1969).

American photographer and illustrator. John Arthur Hiller worked for a Milwaukee lithographer as a teenager, before studying commercial illustration at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in Chicago that he acquired his first camera and came up with his professional name, Lejaren à Hiller. By 1909 he had moved to New York and joined the New York Society of Illustrators, where his friends included artists Charles Gibson and John Sloan, as well as editors, art directors, and advertising agents. An avid amateur actor, Lejaren à Hiller staged pageants, artists’ balls, and charity events through the 1930s. In 1921 he married Sara Anita Plummer, his favourite model and a former Ziegfeld dancer.

Lejaren à Hiller’s first photography-based illustrations for fiction appeared in 1913. Over the next decade he combined stagecraft, casting, directing, and photographic technology to create convincing narrative illusions for the printed page. By the early 1920s (when Edward Steichen was just beginning his commercial career), his clients already included Corning Glass, Winchester Arms, and General Electric. He also made cover art for ...

Article

(b Buffalo, KS, July 8, 1900; d North Tarrytown, NY, Aug 17, 1992).

American photographer, designer, printmaker and writer. She studied painting and printmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles (1919–23). After graduating she experimented with puppetry and theatrical lighting at Cilpin Puppet Theatre and Potboiler Theatre and taught art at San Frando High School (1919–25). In 1925 she married photographer and publisher Willard Morgan (1900–67). Two years later she returned to UCLA to teach abstract design, landscape, and woodcut printmaking. For the next decade Morgan worked professionally in publishing where she designed books and wrote on art and photography. Morgan was among the first of her contemporaries to be interested in modern art and looked to the European avant-garde for ideas on creativity. Though best known for her photography, Morgan was also an accomplished book designer (designing for her husband’s publishing company) and painter and printmaker. In 1930 Morgan and her husband moved to New York where she continued her photography, becoming a member of the Photo League....

Article

Lisa Hostetler

Term originally referring to the 16 New York-based photographers who were featured in Jane Livingston’s book The New York School: Photographs 1936–1963, which served as the published record of three exhibitions consecutively displayed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, in 1985. The photographers included in the publication were Sid Grossman (1913–55), Alexey Brodovitch, Lisette Model, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, William Klein, Weegee, Ted Croner (1922–2005), Saul Leiter (b 1923), Leon Levinstein (1910–93), David Vestal (b 1924), Bruce Davidson, Don Donaghy (1936–2008), Diane Arbus, and Richard Avedon. (The series of exhibitions also included Roy DeCarava and Ed Feingersh but omitted Saul Leiter and Weegee.) Although not formally affiliated as a group, these photographers were all active in New York during the decades surrounding World War II, and their work shared certain formal and conceptual characteristics. These include an often casual disregard for the rules of proper photography, a decidedly subjective point of view, and an implicit concern with the fate of individuality and personal identity in an increasingly anonymous modern world. Since the publication of Livingston’s book, the term ‘New York School Photography’ has been applied more broadly to the work of street photographers (...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Dallas, TX, June 24, 1951).

American photographer. Nicosia studied Radio, Television and Film at the University of North Texas, Denton, completing his studies in 1974. His early photographic work used a frenetic comic book style, with actors expressively posed in front of bizarre hand painted backdrops, as in Near (Modern) Disaster no. 5 (1983; see 1999 exh. cat., p. 51). Nicosia moved away from such cartoon-style work and began to make more considered, although still staged, portraits such as Danny & Conny (1985; see 1988 exh. cat., p. 54). With his Real Pictures series, Nicosia moved out of contrived studio situations and used actors outdoors, as well as black-and-white film in pursuit of greater realism. Works such as Real Pictures no. 8 (1989; see 1999 exh. cat., p. 55), a dispassionately framed image of a man threatening a clown from his car, showed Nicosia’s interest in a collision of the morbid and the absurd. Nicosia subsequently made works both in the studio, such as ...

Article

Kelly Holohan

revised by Donna Halper

(b Newburyport, MA, 1874; d March 1912).

American illustrator and poster designer. Her father Edgar was a photographer who had studios in Newburyport and Franklin, MA. Ethel seemed to have been influenced by her mother, Mary Elizabeth. She told The Bookman in late 1895 that she and her mother planned to go to Paris together so she could study there. They later went to Ireland and England. Reed was mainly self-taught, but she did study briefly at the Cowles School of Art in Boston and took drawing lessons with the noted miniature painter Laura Coombs Hills (1859–1952), posing for one of Hills’s first miniatures on ivory (Portrait of a Girl, 1880). Reed was quite beautiful and may have been introduced by Hills to Fred Holland Day, who photographed her in The Gainsborough Hat (1895–8). Landscapes painted by Reed were exhibited with the Boston Arts Students’ Association in 1894, but she is best known as a poster artist (...

Article

Heather A. Shannon

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

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