"A most welcome addition for exploring the development of the Adirondacks as a tourist and recreation destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wooley captured the beauty and life of the region and inspired generations of visitors."—Jeffrey Horrell, author of Seneca Ray Stoddard: Transforming the Adirondack Wilderness in Text and Image
"A welcome addition to the growing field of histories of the Adirondacks and the North Country. I can think of no other book about a single photographer in these regions that has quite the same breadth and depth as this work. The many faceted account of Wooley, his work, and even his late career lecture tours, adds much to the larger history of American photography in its formative years. "—David Tatham, author of Winslow Homer in the Adirondacks
"An entire volume devoted to the photography of Jesse Wooley is cause for celebration, especially on Lake George. Wooley’s panoramic views of the lake rival Seneca Ray Stoddard’s most self-consciously artistic compositions, while his post cards of Silver Bay gatherings, hotel orchestras, steamboat arrivals and regattas constitute a priceless record of resort life in the first decades of the 20th century. Thanks to this publication, Wooley’s place in history is secure."—Lake George Mirror
"Captures the history of one of the important Adirondack photographers."—Syracuse.com
"This book will satisfy those devoted to the Adirondack region, as well as anyone with an interest in the history of photography."—Adirondack Daily Enterprise
In 1880, Jesse Sumner Wooley, an energetic and entrepreneurial thirteen-year-old farm boy from Saratoga County, took a job as an errand boy for a pair of town photographers. This summer job led to a career that would define Wooley’s life. From that early start, Wooley went on to become a prominent businessman and inventive photographer in Upstate New York.
This volume tells the fascinating story of Wooley’s rise from his impoverished rural roots to a position of success and prosperity as an artist who illuminated twentieth-century bourgeois American culture through his photography. Including more than one hundred color and duotone photographs from his corpus, including a gallery of images from Matt Finley’s private collection, the book reveals the range of Wooley’s work: Adirondack panoramas, architectural studies, travel shows depicting the American west and Europe, and documentary photographs of contemporary events. Wooley’s career is situated within the context of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century town photography, a field dominated by male commercial photographers who captured the day-to-day events of rural and town life. Like many of these professional photographers, Wooley embraced innovations in cameras, producing photo postcards and panoramic photography to satisfy the growing demand for images as souvenirs.
J. S. Wooley showcases the beauty of the Adirondack region as Wooley experienced it, the vital importance of town photographers, and the emergence of photography as a powerful medium to expose the American landscape.
Richard Timberlake is owner and operator of Timberlake Photos in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Philip Terrie is professor emeritus of American culture studies and environmental studies at Bowling Green State University. He is the author of Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks.
11 x 9, 176 pages, 14 color, 94 duotone, 24 black and white illustrations