National Photography Month~ May 26

A Ruby Kindles in the Vine by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson

1905, 1909, 1912, 1914 / From The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward FitzGerald,
illustrated with photographs by Adelaide Hanscom Leeson and Blanche Cumming

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In late 1903 she began working on a series of photographs to illustrate the classic selection of poems, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The concept of illustrating a literary work with fine art photographs was new at that time, and The Rubaiyat was one of the very first American books in this genre.

National Photography Month~ May 25

Helen Keller by the Gerhard Sisters

c.1914 / Photographic print from copy neg
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, DC

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The Gerhards began their photography careers as young women. They studied for three years with Fitz W. Guerin, the best-known St. Louis portraitist and a photographer of staged scenes. When Guerin retired in January 1903, the Gerhards acquired his studio and negatives.
~Prints & Photographs Reading Room, LOC

National Photography Month~ May 24

A Little Shaver by Beatrice Tonnesen

c.1899 / Photographic print from copy neg
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, DC

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The Tonnesen sisters are credited with the creation of modern commercial photography in 1897. “One day we thought up a fine scheme. We would make advertising pictures using live models. It had never been done before,” she later recalled…The photographs she made were marketed to large companies in Chicago who purchased the rights to use them in their advertisements.
~ ©Scott Cross,

On the life and work of photographer Beatrice Tonnesen~

National Photography Month~ May 23

Gustav Klimt by Pauline Kruger Hamilton

c.1909 / Autotype print / Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria

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A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, she performed as a zither soloist and was a well known artist. For a number of years, she was designated as the official photographer for the court of Franz Josef, former Emperor of Austria.
~A Snapshot of Pauline Kruger

National Photography Month~ May 22

May Day by Kate Matthews

From the book The American Annual of Photography, 1911

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Matthews used that big bellows-style camera with glass plate negatives, black hood, and tripod for the rest of her life. She experimented with cameras that captured snapshots via automatic shutters, but she considered her photography an art and preferred to control light exposure with a lens cap. She also controlled every step of the development process in her own darkroom.
~Kate Matthews Collection, Photographic Archives, University of Louisville, KY

National Photography Month~ May 21

Patchin Place, leading off from 10th Street by Jessie Tarbox Beals

1916 / Gelatin silver print / 10″x8″ / New-York Historical Society, NY, NY

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Jessie Tarbox Beals ended her 12-year teaching career in 1900. That September, she received her first credit line from Vermont’s Windham County Reformer, for photos made for a fair. These gave her the distinction of being one of the first published woman photojournalists.
~Prints & Photographs Reading Room, LOC

National Photography Month~ May 20

Theodore Roosevelt by Zaida Ben-Yúsuf

c.1899 / Platinum print / 8″x6 1/3″ / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, DC

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Starting in 1896, Ben-Yúsuf worked in several areas of photography–fine art, fashion, theater, celebrity portraiture, newspapers, and illustration–and also wrote magazine articles with photographic illustrations. In the art photography field, she rose quickly to the highest echelons in London and New York. ~Prints & Photographs Reading Room

National Photography Month~ May 19

Mending the Net by Nancy Ford Cones

1910 / Gelatin silver print / 7 1/2″x9 1/2″ / Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio

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Mr. Cones gave up his own career as a photographer to develop his wife’s prints, using the gum-bichromate process that enabled the developer to not only retouch but to further enhance images through the addition of color or shading. ~

National Photography Month~ May 18

Edge of the Cliff (Along the Cliff) by Myra Albert Wiggins

1902 / Gelatin silver print / Image: 8″x6″
Various collections, including Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

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…from 1891 to 1894 she studied painting at the Art Students League in New York…While in New York, Wiggins joined the Society of Amateur Photographers and met Stieglitz, who inducted her into the Photo-Secession when he established the group in 1902. ~The Oregon Encyclopedia

National Photography Month~ May 17

Untitled (also known as The Breeze) by Anne Brigman

1918 / Gelatin silver print / 9 3/4″x7 3/4″ / Various collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

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Brigman was one of the first women to photograph nudes in a wilderness landscape. Her images deliberately resemble charcoal drawings, as she sought to capture the spirit of her subject rather than a faithful reproduction.
~Smithsonian American Art Museum