From specimens to souls: The evolution of early portrait photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Editorial Staff Art

Every photographic portrait confers on its subject some degree of immortality. We take for granted the ability to know what a person looks like, since images of family, friends, and famous strangers dead and alive are at our fingertips through a Google Images or Facebook search. But until 1839 only the wealthy could have a likeness recorded, share it with others, and leave it behind for future generations.

Walker Evans: early and late

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

The man who, more than any other, gave visual expression to American life during the Great Depression was not a painter, but a photographer who originally wanted to be a writer. As surely as Aubrey Beardsley’s graphic mastery defined London in the mauve nineties, Walker Evans’s stark photographs remain the most powerful and enduring images of America in its time …

Enlightenment in Black and White


Nestled along the luxuriant cliff-side banks of the Mekong River, Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos, is a city of stately palaces, villas, and bungalows left from the French colonial period, as well as many golden temples (vats) alive with the Buddhist culture of their attendant monasteries. While its local textile industry is renowned, what seduces the visitor …

Still Startling, Still Electric

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

Julia Margaret Cameron was almost twenty-four when Louis-Jacques-Mondé Daguerre announced the invention of photography at the Académie des Sciences in Paris in 1839. But it wasn’t until she was forty-eight—another lifetime later—that she would fully take up the medium herself. The catalyst was a Christmas gift from her daughter Julia and Julia’s husband in 1863.”It may amuse you, Mother,” they …

Pictorialist Photography in Cleveland

Editorial Staff Art, Exhibitions

Julia Margaret Cameron’s “photography has been a touchstone for generations of photographers. The pictorialists adored her,” writes Phillip Prodger in our article about the British photographer in this issue. And he couldn’t be more right, says Barbara Tannenbaum, curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art and co-curator of the museum’s stunning exhibition Shadows and Dreams: Pictorialist Photography in …

On high seas: Jack London’s photography on the cruise of the Snark

Editorial Staff Art, Magazine

Jack London died young, at the age of forty, yet in some ways it is amazing that he lived as long as he did. To anyone who happened to see the thirty-one-year-old London and five other inexperienced sailors cruising through San Francisco’s Golden Gate on April 23, 1907, his survival would have seemed nothing short of miraculous. His boat the …

Photography in New York

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

The New York dealer of fine photographs Hans P. Kraus Jr. celebrates his gallery’s twenty-fifth anniversary this year with a display of iconic works entitled Silver Anniversary: 25 Photographs, 1835 to 1914, opening today. Even readers who are less familiar with photography dealers will recall Kraus’s impressive booth at the 2009 Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory, which …

This Week’s Top Lots: October 5 – 9

Editorial Staff Art

* Christie’s London/October 6, Islamic and Indian ArtThe sale total was just over £5 million. The top lot was a circa 1600 Ottoman navigational chart of the Mediterranean coastline that sold for £1.07 million (estimate £300,000-400,000). Other top lots were a Qu’ran dated 1288 AD that sold for £457,250 (estimate £200,000-300,000), and an 18th century painted and carved Damascus room …

Maynard Parker’s modern architecture & interior photography

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

The Huntington Library recently launched a new online database that makes accessible the archives of Los Angeles-based architectural and garden photographer Maynard L. Parker (1901-1976). Parker contributed images to many of the nation’s premiere home design publications from the late 1930s through the early 1970s including House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, and Sunset. He traveled across the …