The why

This book arose out of a wish to make available, in some way, the collection of portraits that I have gathered during my working life. With an interest in photography, portraiture, history and a need to cover my walls with something of interest, I collected a series of photographic portraits representing the technical history of photography from 1841 to 1955. Years of viewing these brought to mind thoughts of the circumstances of the subjects and their characters. some of the images are of well known personages, many are anonymous and some were identified over the years, serendipitously. As a result stories were created, both factual and fictional. These images and the stories have been combined with fragments of photographic history into an investigation of the nature of character in portraiture.

There are eleventyone images each faced with a page of text discussing something of the sitter, the photographer or the technical feature of the portrait. In addition there are three extra images to a total of 114 portraits dating from months into the beginning of photography with daguerreotypes dating from 1841, through the salt print, the tintype, ambrotype, collodion and albumin prints , and gelatin glass slides and prints to 1955.

The main purpose of the book is to make available some of the portraits that may have some interest to other like minded individuals. While many of the early portraits are anonymous (but none the less interesting for that) there are several previously unknown portraits by well known photographers including Pierre Petit, Rogi Andre, Notman, Rose Marie Clausen, Max Thorek, Marcus Adams, August Sander, Gertrude Käsebier, Clarence White, Paul Anderson, Alice Boughton, Doris Ullman, Arnold Genthe, Erich Salomon, Clara Sipprell, Lotte Jacobi, and Daguerreotypist Richard Beard.