Seneca Ray Stoddard’s photographic and literary work paralleled the era of exploration of this region as well as the early years of photography. It was during his lifetime—as a result of the changing perceptions of the wilderness—that the area first attracted artists, tourists, and summer residents.
Jeffrey L. Horrell’s book explores the nature of this Adirondack pioneer’s work and examines how it influenced and was influenced by the changing attitudes toward wilderness in the last half of the nineteenth century. It is the first complete volume to provide an in-depth study of both Stoddard’s writing and photography. Through his photographs and publishing ventures, Stoddard moved from recording the wilderness landscape to defending it against the logging industry and other developers.
Stoddard was instrumental in creating the modern perception of the “forever wild” landscape of the Adirondacks. Although there had been a well-established tradition of guidebooks for American tourist regions, Stoddard’s practice of including illustrations based on photographs represented a new departure. Horrell shows how Stoddard’s work reflected matters of class and power on the emerging tourist industry and its effect on the
popular literature of the day.
Jeffrey L. Horrell is a associate librarian of Harvard College for Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His writings on academic librarianship and history of photography have been published in Art Documentation and The Magazine Antiques.
6 x 9, 182 pages, 56 black and white illustrations