September 13, 1951
An exhibition entitled “A Century of Portrait Photography” opened yesterday (Sept. 12) at The Brooklyn Museum with a private view for invited guests. The exhibit will remain on view in the entrance Gallery of the Museum through October 14.
The exhibition traces the history of portrait photography from about 1830 through about 1930, starting with the early daguerreotype and ending with portraits achieved by photographic processes as we know them today.
About 65 works by the following prominent photographers mostly from England, France, Germany and the United States are included: Franz Antoine, Julia Cameron, Sidney Carter, G. C. Cox, Edgar Degas, Thomas Eakins, Arnold Genthe, Lewis H. Home, David O. Hill, Gertrude Kasebier, Pine MacDonald, Man Ray, Southworth & Hawes, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston and others.
Notable in the early section in the exhibit is the well-known daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams by Southworth & Hawes. The practised and searching eye of the American painter Thomas Eakins has produced a superb portrait of his mother-in-law. A realistic portrait of Theodore Roosevelt will appeal to many, and certainly a shot of “Two Bearded Men” by Paul Strand will impress others.
From the beginnings of photography, the visitor can sense the excitement created by this new art medium and also see how successfully it was used in the early stages. Bold experimentation methods of photographing and printing often produced dramatic and exotic results. Always the manners and conventions of the times are accurately, and sometimes amusingly recorded f or us, and many portraits give a quick Insight into the personality of such famous names as Rudyard Kipling, Walt Whitman, Bernard Shaw, etc. Photographs have been lent to the exhibition chiefly from the Stieglitz Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Others were lent by the Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the City of New York and Karl Tausig.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 07-09/1951, 081. View Original