Photography Masters

Biography: 19th Century pioneer photographer Johann Pucher

Biography: 19th Century pioneer photographer Johann Pucher

Johann Pucher (1814-1864) was a Slovene photographer who invented an unusual process for making photographs on glass. As a schoolchild, Pucher was interested in art, languages, and the natural sciences, especially chemistry and physics. He wanted to study art, but obeyed his mother’s wish and became a Catholic priest. However, he continued to experiment in photography, art, and music. When…
Biography: 19th Century Motion photographer Eadweard Muybridge

Biography: 19th Century Motion photographer Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge (1830 – 1904) was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion, and early work in motion-picture projection. He adopted the first name Eadweard as the original Anglo-Saxon form of Edward, and the surname Muybridge believing it to be similarly archaic. Muybridge emigrated to the United States at the age of 20, arriving…
Biography: 19th Century African-American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington

Biography: 19th Century African-American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington

Augustus Washington (1820 – 1875) was an African-American photographer and daguerreotypist, who later in his career emigrated to Liberia. Washington grew up in the Americas of the 1820s, a time when African Americans were denied even the most basic rights. Against all convention, all he wanted to do was study. He struggled to get admission into various educational institutions across…
Biography: 19th Century Australian photographer Charles Kerry

Biography: 19th Century Australian photographer Charles Kerry

Charles Kerry (1857 – 1928) began working in the Sydney photo studio of A.H. Lamartiniere in 1875. When Lamartiniere fled from creditors a few years later, Kerry took charge of the company, paying debts and turning around the business. Initially Kerry specialised in portraits but branched into photographing Sydney scenery and society. He was also active in the postcard business.…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Lina Jonn

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Lina Jonn

Lina Jonn, birth name Carolina Johnsson, (1861–1896) was an early Swedish photographer. Jonn appears to have learnt photography in Paris but her first professional work was in the Swedish city of Helsingborg where she joined the Finnish photographer Per Alexis Brandt who ran a studio there. In 1891, she opened her own studio in Lund which soon attracted many influential…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Pietro Marubi

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Pietro Marubi

Pietro Marubi (1834 – 1903) was an Italian painter and photographer who, as a supporter of Garibaldi, had emigrated from Piacenza, Italy, to Shkodra for political reasons around the year 1850. There, he founded a photo business, Foto Marubi, with cameras he had brought with him, using the wet plate collodion process, the standard method of photography across Europe. The…
Biography: 19th Century Rome photographer Robert Turnbull Macpherson

Biography: 19th Century Rome photographer Robert Turnbull Macpherson

Robert Turnbull Macpherson (1814 – 1872) was a Scottish artist and photographer who worked in Rome, Italy, in the 19th century. During his initial years in Rome, Macpherson continued to practice as a painter. While records exist of several works between 1840 and 1845, only one is known to survive from Macpherson’s time in Rome—a large oil painting of the…
Biography: Pictorial/Nudes photographer Arthur F. Kales

Biography: Pictorial/Nudes photographer Arthur F. Kales

Arthur F. Kales (1882 – 1936) received a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1903. While living in the Bay Area, he became interested in the burgeoning Pictorialist movement in photography that flourished there, and his images met with immediate success. Kales moved to Los Angeles to work in advertising but returned to San Francisco in…
Biography: 19th Century Dutch-Flemish photographer Isidore van Kinsbergen

Biography: 19th Century Dutch-Flemish photographer Isidore van Kinsbergen

Isidore van Kinsbergen (1821 – 1905) was a Dutch-Flemish engraver who took the first archaeological and cultural photographs of Java during the Dutch East Indies period in the nineteenth century. Having studied painting and singing in Paris, he joined a French opera group that travelled to Batavia (the present day Jakarta) in 1851. After several performances the group left the…
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…
Biography: Portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier

Biography: Portrait photographer Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Käsebier (1852 – 1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her images of motherhood, her portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women. In July 1899 Alfred Stieglitz published five of Käsebier’s photographs in Camera Notes, declaring her “beyond dispute, the leading…
Biography: Photographer of Nudes – Alfred Cheney Johnston

Biography: Photographer of Nudes – Alfred Cheney Johnston

Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885–1971) was born in New York City, and at the age of 18 he enrolled at The Art Students League of New York, later transferring to the National Academy of Design in New York City where he studied to be an illustrator. The required drawing and painting classes from the Academy’s rigorous training program would prove to…
Biography: 19th Century photographic duo Hill & Adamson

Biography: 19th Century photographic duo Hill & Adamson

In 1843 painter David Octavius Hill joined engineer Robert Adamson to form Scotland’s first photographic studio. During their brief partnership that ended with Adamson’s untimely death, Hill & Adamson produced “the first substantial body of self-consciously artistic work using the newly invented medium of photography.” Their collaboration, with Hill providing skill in composition and lighting, and Adamson considerable sensitivity and…
Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel

Biography: 19th Century Portrait photographer Alberto Henschel

Alberto Henschel (1827 – 1882) was a German-Brazilian photographer born in Berlin. Considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil, with offices in Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Henschel was considered the hardest-working photographer and businessman in 19th-century Brazil. He always remained up-to-date with the latest techniques on the photography market. By the time the aesthetic…
Biography: Portrait photographer Spencer Digby

Biography: Portrait photographer Spencer Digby

Spencer Digby (1901 – 1995) was a New Zealand photographer. He ran a well-known and prestigious Wellington studio from 1936 to 1960. Ron Woolf purchased the business in 1960 and later gifted all the approximately 40,000 negatives to Te Papa. After leaving school he worked for a time as a clerk with the meat company Vestey’s. He then became an…
Biography: 19th Century British India photographer Fred Bremner

Biography: 19th Century British India photographer Fred Bremner

Fred Bremner (1863-1941) was a Scottish photographer. His portraiture work in British India, spanning 1882 to 1922, preserves a record of life in the period. In 1882, Bremner accepted an offer of work from his brother-in-law G. W. Lawrie, who ran a successful photography business in Lucknow, and he was assigned work throughout northern India (modern India and Pakistan). In…
Biography: photographer John Watt Beattie

Biography: photographer John Watt Beattie

John Watt Beattie (1859 – 1930) was an Australian photographer. Beattie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1890. He was appointed Photographer to the Government of Tasmania on 21 December 1896. He did extensive photography around Tasmania, as well as in the Central Highlands and on the West…
Biography: 19th Century photographer James Craig Annan

Biography: 19th Century photographer James Craig Annan

James Craig Annan (1864 – 1946) was a pioneering Scottish-born photographer and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. The second son of photographer Thomas Annan, James Craig Annan was born at Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 8 March 1864. He was educated at Hamilton Academy before studying chemistry and natural philosophy at Anderson’s College, Glasgow (later to merge to…
Biography: City Life photographer Roman Vishniac

Biography: City Life photographer Roman Vishniac

Roman Vishniac (1897 – 1990) was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. Beginning in 1914, Vishniac spent six years at Shanyavsky Institute (now University) in Moscow. While enrolled there, he served in the Tsarist, Kerensky and Soviet armies. He earned a Ph.D. in zoology and became an…
Biography: 19th Century photographer Adolphe Braun

Biography: 19th Century photographer Adolphe Braun

Adolphe Braun (1812 – 1877) was a French photographer, best known for his floral still lifes, Parisian street scenes, and grand Alpine landscapes. Braun was born in Besançon in 1812, the eldest child of Samuel Braun, a police officer, and Antoinette Regard. When he was about 10, his family relocated to Mulhouse, a textile manufacturing center in the Alsace region…