Gertrude Kasebier: Portrait of a Boy
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Gertrude Stanton Kasebier, (1852-1934) was considered the equal of Alfred Stieglitz by many critics of her day. This portrait of a young boy is typical of the soft, hazy images she produced, all with emotional complexity.
Raised in the Iowa and Colorado territories, her family was forced to move during the Civil War and the family arrived in Brooklyn, New York, in 1864. After raising three children into adolescence, she attended the Pratt Institute from 1889 to 1893. There she studied drawing and painting. In the spring of 1894 she won two photography contests. A fifty-dollar prize for best photograph was awarded her from The Quarterly Illustrator for best photograph. She won runner-up in a contest sponsored by the New York Herald.
The reaction to her work inspired Kasebier to consider photography as a career. Later in 1894, Kasebier took a year long trip to Europe to broaden her study of photography and painting. In that same year she published her first photographs and essays in French magazines. In Germany that same year, Kasebier met and studied under Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, the very chemist with whom that Alfred Stieglitz had worked.
In 1898, Kasebier opened her first professional studio. Her photographs were published widely in Alfred Stieglitz's "Camera Work" and other notable photographic magazines of the times. She was the first female elected to "The Linked Ring." This was a prestigious group organized in 1892, that pursued the development of the highest form of art that photography was capable of producing.
With her close associations with Stieglitz, Kasebier she also became one of the founding members of the Photo-Secession group that included Edward Steichen, Clarence White, and other famous photographers of the day. The Photo-Secessionists were committed to creating artistic achievements with the camera and became the leading force for photographic creativity.
Her works include sensitive portraits of Native American Indians traveling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, as well as work on the reservations of the Dakota Sioux. Kasebier photographed many celebrities of her time, including Auguste Rodin, Buffalo Bill, Booker T. Washington, and Mark Twain.
In 1916, she was a founding member of Pictorial Photographers of America, and continued exhibiting her work until 1925. She died in 1934 and was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in 1979.
Medium : 1 photographic print : gum bichromate
Created/Published : 1902
Creator : Gertrude Kasebier, photographer, 1852-1934
Housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress
Availability: Special order: ships in 3-4 weeks
Product #: cph3b14430