Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Studio – Southworth & Hawes

Biography: 19th Century Daguerreotype Studio – Southworth & Hawes


Albert Sands Southworth (1811-1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808-1901) operated a daguerreotype studio together in Boston, MA. They are considered the finest American portrait photographers of the nineteenth century.

Southworth & Hawes worked almost exclusively in the daguerreotype process. Working in the 8 ½ x 6 ½ inch whole plate format, their images are brilliant, mirror-like, and finely detailed. Writing in the Photographic and Fine Art Journal, August 1855, the contemporary Philadelphia daguerreotypist Marcus Aurelius Root paid them this praise: “Their style, indeed, is peculiar to themselves; presenting beautiful effects of light and shade, and giving depth and roundness together with a wonderful softness or mellowness. These traits have achieved for them a high reputation with all true artists and connoisseurs.” He further noted that the firm had devoted their time chiefly to daguerreotypes, with little attention to photography on paper.

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection

Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes, ca. 1850s. George Eastman House Collection


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