Winter landscapes 1900-1910

Anonyme, sans titre, ca. 1900-1910, plaque de projection. Coll. Musée de la Photographie, MPC
Anonyme, sans titre, ca. 1900-1910, plaque de projection. Coll. Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi
Anonyme, sans titre, ca. 1900-1910, plaque de projection. Coll. Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi
Anonyme, sans titre, ca. 1900-1910, plaque de projection. Coll. Musée de la Photographie, MPC
Anonyme, sans titre, ca. 1900-1910, plaque de projection. Coll. Musée de la Photographie, MPC

Pictorial portrait by Weston

Edward Henry Weston (1886 - 1958) :: [Woman in Asian Costume], 1917 | The J. Paul Getty Museum Collection
Edward Henry Weston (1886 - 1958) :: [Woman in Asian Costume], 1917 | The J. Paul Getty Museum Collection
Edward Henry Weston (1886 – 1958) :: Woman in Asian Costume, 1917 | The J. Paul Getty Museum Collection

Red poppies against blue wall

Papavers tegen blauw bespannen wand, ca. 1910 by Jan Zeegers. Collectie Jan Zeegers. [detail]
Jan Zeegers :: Groene vaas met papavers tegen blauw bespannen wand | Green vase with poppies against a wall covered in blue fabric, ca. 1910. Autochrome. | src Stadsarchief Amsterdam
Jan Zeegers :: Groene vaas met papavers tegen blauw bespannen wand | Green vase with poppies against a wall covered in blue fabric, ca. 1910. Autochrome. | src Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Jan Zeegers’ daughter, 1912

Jan Zeegers :: Marie Zeegers [daughter of the photographer], 1912. Autochrome. | Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam
Jan Zeegers :: Marie Zeegers [dochter van de fotograaf], 1912. Autochrome. | Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam

“This might be the first Dutch girl to have her picture taken in colour. The photographer, Jan Zeegers, was an Amsterdam textile merchant by trade, but this picture shows a definite eye for composition and colour – note the girl’s dress, the bow in her hair, and the cherries on the plate.” quoted from booklet of the exhibition guide: Gallery of Honour of Dutch Photography (June 2021)

Seeley’s tree silhouettes, ca. 1917

George H. Seeley :: Silhouettes of trees before a lake, ca. 1917. Platinum print. Lee Gallery. | src Luminous Lint LL/24559
George H. Seeley :: Three tree silhouettes, ca. 1917. Platinum print. Courtesy Lee Gallery. | src Luminous Lint LL/24558
George H. Seeley :: Three tree silhouettes, ca. 1917. Platinum print. Courtesy Lee Gallery. | src Luminous Lint LL/24558
George H. Seeley :: Silhouettes of trees before a lake, ca. 1917. Platinum print. Lee Gallery. | src Luminous Lint LL/24559
George H. Seeley :: Silhouettes of trees before a lake, ca. 1917. Platinum print. Lee Gallery. | src Luminous Lint LL/24559

Still-lifes by Walrond 1910s

Robert Walrond :: Gaillardias, 1918. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | src Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Gaillardias, 1918. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | src Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Gaillardias, 1918. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | src Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Autumn, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | src Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Autumn roses, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | src Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand

Flowers by Walrond, 1910s

Robert Walrond :: Red kowhai, Auckland, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Red kowhai, Auckland, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Pelargonium flowers, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand
Robert Walrond :: Hollyhocks in a garden, 1915. Colour photograph from autochrome plate. | Te Papa · Museum of New Zealand

En dilettante, photo amateur

Anonyme, ca. 1910. Coll. Michel F. David, fondateur des éditions Sur la Banquise
En dilettante. Histoire et petites histoires de la photographie amateur au Musée de la photo de Charleroi
En dilettante. Histoire et petites histoires de la photographie amateur, au Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi | src Lien site RTBF

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1914 (I)

Arnold Genthe :: Edna St. Vincent Millay at Mitchell Kennerley's house in Mamaroneck, New York, 1914. Autochrome. | Library of Congress
Arnold Genthe :: Edna St. Vincent Millay at Mitchell Kennerley’s house in Mamaroneck, New York, 1914. Autochrome. | Library of Congress
Arnold Genthe :: Portrait photograph of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1914. Digital file from original lantern slide. | Library of Congress
Arnold Genthe :: Portrait photograph of Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1914. Digital file from original lantern slide. | Library of Congress
Arnold Genthe :: Edna St. Vincent Millay, portrait photograph, 1914. Glass negative. | Library of Congress
Arnold Genthe :: Edna St. Vincent Millay, portrait photograph, 1914. Glass negative. | Library of Congress

Cleopatra in Auckland, 1914

Robert Walrond :: "Cleopatra" in Domain cricket ground, Auckland, 1914. Autochrome. | Te Papa Tongarewa
Robert Walrond :: “Cleopatra” in Domain cricket ground, Auckland, 1914. Autochrome. | Te Papa Tongarewa

When the autochrome — the Lumière brothers’ new colour photographic process — reached New Zealand in 1907, it was eagerly adopted by those who could afford to use it. Among them was Auckland photographer Robert Walrond, whose ‘Cleopatra’ in Domain cricket ground is among a small number of superb early colour photographs in Te Papa’s collection. The combined effect of the sun and wind on the women’s costumes and in the fluttering appearance of the silk scarf held above the Cleopatra character is stunning. The tableau is interrupted but undiminished by what appears to be a pipe band in uniform in the background. The women were very likely part of what was described by the New Zealand Herald as a ‘fine’ performance of Luigi Mancinelli’s Cleopatra (a musical setting of the play by Pietro Cossa), associated with the Auckland Exhibition of 1913–14 held in the Domain.

The story of Cleopatra — with a particular focus on her love life and tragic death — was an exotic but respectable theme for theatre and dress-up events for women at the time. The Cleopatra myth and look were popularised by international performers such as the frequently-photographed Sarah Bernhardt in France and by numerous stage productions and films from the late nineteenth century onwards. With the advent of photography, part of performing the role became having a portrait made while in costume. The arrival of the autochrome was greeted with excitement and anticipation because rich colours could now be captured and the elaborate style of the costumes enhanced.

Much was made of the impact the autochrome would have on art and the role of photography within it. However, one of the disadvantages of the process was that it involved a unique one-off image on a glass plate: this required projection to be viewed and couldn’t be exhibited. So despite the original excitement for the method, it slipped out of sight once new developments arrived that fixed colour printing on a paper format. Walrond’s set of autochromes held by Te Papa are one of only a few larger bodies of work by New Zealand practitioners of this process.

Lissa Mitchell – This essay originally appeared in New Zealand Art at Te Papa (Te Papa Press, 2018)

Robert Walrond :: "Cleopatra", 1914. Additive colour process. | Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
Robert Walrond :: “Cleopatra”, 1914. Autochrome, additive colour process. | Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa