Loss of Vision: How Early 20th century Photography Was Misjudged by Critics and How Archives Obscure the Image

exposure magazine
Jun 18, 2018 · 19 min read
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Double portrait of an unidentified woman, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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Photograph by E.J. Bellocq © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
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Photograph by E.J. Bellocq © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
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Portrait of Chief Joseph, 1901 © Lee Moorhouse , courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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Portrait of Dee Wallace, Junction City Kansas, 1897, © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, courtesy Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
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Tintype from 1880s of Mabel and Grace Thomason with Spencer Frederick Butler, with oval showing where the mat was laid over the image. Photograph by Joseph Pennell, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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Photograph by E.J. Bellocq © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
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(from l-r): Woman Kneeling on Chair, photograph by Ernest J. Bellocq via [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10224267; Storyville Girl outdoors posing with backdrop, photograph by Ernest J. Bellocq via [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10224315.
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Photograph probably used for advertising by E. J. Bellocq, before 1918 Via http://www.compagnosegreto.it/NUMERO4/autore1.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3205177.
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Madame Sperber Group, Junction City, Kansas, 1906. © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, courtesy Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
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(from l-r): Tom Dixon’s Laundry, 1899; Madame Sperber Group, Junction City, Kansas, 1906. © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, courtesy Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
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(l-r) Rudy Sohn’s Barber Shop, 1903; New operating room at Ft. Riley, 1906. © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, courtesy Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
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Portrait of the Nat Jones family in Junction City, Kansas, 1910. © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, courtesy Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
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(l-r) Portrait of John Welch, 1901; Portrait of Jesse Johnson, 1904 © Joseph Pennell Collection, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
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Chief Seattle, carte-de-visite, 1864. © E.S. Sammis, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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(l-r) Copied, changed and issued by Asahel Curtis, Frank La Roche and unknown postcard maker. Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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(left): Native Street Scene at Sitka, Alaska” ca. 1906 (Tlingit women selling baskets and other crafts), photograph by Case & Draper, printed by Frank Nowell for sale at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, 1909, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections. (right): Case & Draper photograph retouched and made into a postcard by Edward Mitchell. (The tourists have been removed, the attribution is changed to Edward Mitchell, and the caption has been changed and is now incorrect:“Eskimo Curio Vendors” — these are not Eskimos, they are Tlingit Indians). Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40778315.
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The Adams & Larkin panorama photograph (part of a four-part panorama) of Dawson, Yukon Territory, Canada, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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(top) Lassen Park Photographs of Windy Point arranged in a notebook by the archivist; (bottom) The real subject of the photographs is revealed when arranged properly: Panorama of Brokeoff Mountain. Photographs by Gina Rappaport.
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(top) John Soule original print of the ruins after the Seattle Fire in 1889; (bottom) Modern uncropped print of Soule negative with McManus copyright 1912
Both have Soule’s number 13 in the corner. Courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
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Double portrait of an unidentified woman, courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.

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