Nora Gregor as Thaisa by Setzer

Franz Xaver Setzer :: Austrian actress Nora Gregor as Thaisa in 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre' by William Shakespeare. Burgtheater, Vienna. First night 16th October 1937. | src Getty Images
Franz Xaver Setzer :: Austrian actress Nora Gregor as Thaisa in 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre' by William Shakespeare. Burgtheater, Vienna. First night 16th October 1937.  | src Getty Images
Franz Xaver Setzer :: Austrian actress Nora Gregor as Thaisa in ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre’ by William Shakespeare. Burgtheater, Vienna. First night 16th October 1937. | src Getty Images

A Lily and a Butterfly, 1905-1910

Eva Watson-Schütze (1867-1935) :: Woman with Lily [Jane McCall Whitehead], 1905. Truth beauty: pictorialism and the photograph as art, 1845-1945 (George Eastman House, 2009) | src Phillips Collection
Eva Watson-Schütze (1867-1935) :: Woman with Lily [Jane McCall Whitehead], 1905. Truth beauty: pictorialism and the photograph as art, 1845-1945 (George Eastman House, 2009) | src Phillips Collection

Photographic pictorialism, an international movement, a philosophy, and a style, developed toward the end of the 19th century. The introduction of the dry-plate process, in the late 1870s, and of the Kodak camera, in 1888, made taking photographs relatively easy, and photography became widely practiced. Pictorialist photographers set themselves apart from the ranks of new hobbyist photographers by demonstrating that photography was capable of far more than literal description of a subject. Through the efforts of pictorialist organizations, publications, and exhibitions, photography came to be recognized as an art form, and the idea of the print as a carefully hand-crafted, unique object equal to a painting gained acceptance.

The forerunners of pictorialism were early photographers like Henry Peach Robinson and Julia Margaret Cameron. Robinson found inspiration in genre painting; Cameron’s fuzzy portraits and allegories were inspired by literature. Like Robinson and Cameron, the pictorialists made photographs that were more like paintings and drawings than the work of commercial portraitists or hobbyists. Pictorialist images were heavily dependent on the craft of nuanced printing. Some photographers, like Frederick H. Evans, a master of the platinum print, presented their work like drawings or watercolors, decorating their mounts with ruled borders filled with watercolor wash, or printing on textured watercolor paper, like Austrian photographer Heinrich Kühn. Kühn achieved painterly effects by using an artist’s brush to manipulate watercolor pigment, instead of silver or platinum, mixed with light-sensitized gum arabic.

The idea that the primary purpose of photography was personal expression lay behind pictorialism’s “Secessionist” movement. Alfred Stieglitz’s “Photo-Secession” was the best-known secessionist group. Stieglitz and his magazine, Camera Work, with its high-quality photogravure illustrations, advocated for the acceptance of photography as a fine art.

Eva Watson Schütze (American, 1867-1935) :: Young girl seated on bench, ca. 1910. | src Phillips Collection
Eva Watson Schütze (American, 1867-1935) :: Young girl seated on bench, ca. 1910. George Eastman Coll. | src Phillips Collection

Early in the 20th century, pictorialism began losing ground to modernism: in 1911, Camera Work published drawings by Rodin and Picasso, and its final issue, in 1917, featured Paul Strand’s modernist photographs. Nevertheless, pictorialism lived on. A second wave of pictorialists included Clarence H. White, whose students included such photographers as Margaret Bourke-White, Paul Outerbridge, and Dorothy Lange. White’s colleague, Paul Anderson, continued the pictorial tradition until his death in 1956. Five prints of his Vine in Sunlight, 1944, display five different printing techniques, demonstrating how each process subtly shapes the viewer’s response to the image.

Exhibition organized by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, and Vancouver Art Gallery. [Quoted from source]

Salome by Anny Heimann

Anny Heimann, Berlin :: Salome. From: „Die Kunst in der Photographie", 1908
Anny Heimann, Berlin :: Salome. From: „Die Kunst in der Photographie”, 1908
Anny Heimann, Berlin :: Salome. From: „Die Kunst in der Photographie", 1908
Anny Heimann, Berlin :: Salome. From: „Die Kunst in der Photographie”, 1908

Dorothy Fenzi by the Gledhills

Carolyn & Edwin Gledhill :: Mrs. Dorothy Fenzi, ca. 1912 (detail). From: Before The Selfie: The Gledhill Portrait Collection @ Santa Barbara Museum
Carolyn & Edwin Gledhill :: Mrs. Dorothy Fenzi, ca. 1912 (detail). From: Before The Selfie: The Gledhill Portrait Collection @ Santa Barbara Museum
Mrs. Dorothy Fenzi (ca. 1912) by Carolyn & Edwin Gledhill. In: The Gledhill Portraits of Santa Barbara (1988); plate 49 @ internet archive
Mrs. Dorothy Fenzi (ca. 1912) by Carolyn & Edwin Gledhill. In: The Gledhill Portraits of Santa Barbara (1988); plate 49 @ internet archive

Draped woman by Van Buren

Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print mounted on black mat. Color film copy transparency of the original. LC-USZC4-9380 | src L. of Congress
Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print mounted on black mat. Color film copy transparency of the original. LC-USZC4-9380 | src L. of Congress
Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print on Rembrandt mount. Color film copy slide of the original. LC-USZC4-9108 | src L. of Congress
Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print on Rembrandt mount. Color film copy slide of the original. LC-USZC4-9108 | src L. of Congress
Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print mounted on black mat. Color film copy slide of the original. LC-USZC2-5993 | src L. of Congress
Amelia C. Van Buren :: [Profile portrait of woman draped with a veil]; 1917 (?). Platinum print mounted on black mat. Color film copy slide of the original. LC-USZC2-5993 | src L. of Congress

The Library of Congress owns two impressions of this photograph: 1-a (top and bottom) and 1-b (middle). Forms part of: Artistic photographs collected by Frances Benjamin Johnston in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection. Gift of Frances Benjamin Johnston; 1948.

Published in: Ambassadors of progress / edited by Bronwyn A.E. Griffith … France : Musée d’Art Américain Giverny … 2001, p. 177.

Exhibited: Ambassadors of progress, 2001-2003

all information is from the Library of Congress

Vasily Kachalov in Anathema

Vintage Russian postcard depicting Russian actor Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov [Васи́лий Ива́нович Кача́лов] in Anathema, a play by Russian playwright Leonid Andreyev at the Moscow Art Theater. [ca. 1900] akademic.ru
Russian actor Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov in the title role of Leonid Andreyev’s Anathema. Kachalov led the so-called Kachalov Group within the Moscow Art Theater. [Ryckoff Collection]. | src Getty Images
Russian actor Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov in the title role of Leonid Andreyev’s Anathema. (ca. 1900) | src Getty images
К. С. Малевич. Василий Качалов в пьесе Л. Андреева “Анатэма”. 1908 г. Единственный пробный оттиск гг. Коллекция С. Григорьянца | Vasily Kachalov in Anathema by Kazimir Malevich (1908) | src wikimedia commons
Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov by Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (1908) | src twitter

Lil Dagover By A. Binder (1929)

Alexander Binder :: Das edle Profil. Die Filmschauspielerin Lil Dagover. Uhu Magazin, Januar 1929, Band 5, Heft 4.
Alexander Binder :: Das edle Profil. Die Filmschauspielerin Lil Dagover. Uhu Magazin, Januar 1929, Band 5, Heft 4. (full page)