"A useful reference work, and also an enjoyable volume to pick up and peruse from time to time. Those with interest in regional history, not to mention photography, will enjoy having this book in their libraries."—Adiorondack Daily Enterprise
"An important and unique contribution to the history of the Adirondacks and the many photographers who documented it."—Robert Bogdan, author of Exposing the Wilderness: Early Twentieth-Century Adirondack Postcard Photographers
"A serious, interesting, and substantive volume. To my knowledge, there is no other published work that assembles this kind of biographical and technical detail for the photographers that Svenson chronicles."—Philip Terrie, author of Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks
"Recommended for anyone interested in Adirondack history, culture, and art. It should be in the collection of every regional library, archive, museum, and historical society."—Caroline Welsh, art historian and Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum
Just as the new technology of photography was emerging throughout the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, it caught hold in the scenic Adirondack region of upstate New York. Young men and a few women began to experiment with cameras as a way to earn their livings with local portrait work. From photographing individuals, some expanded their subject matter to include families and groups, homes, streetscapes, landmarks, workplaces, and important events—from town celebrations to presidential visits, train wrecks, floods, and fires. These photographers from within and just beyond the park’s borders, as well as those based in the urban areas from which tourists came to the Adirondacks, have been central in defining the region.
Adirondack Photographers, 1850–1950 is a comprehensive look at the first one hundred years of photography through the lives of those who captured this unique rural region of New York State. Svenson’s fascinating biographical dictionary of more than two hundred photographers is enriched with over seventy illustrations. While the popularity of some of these photographers is reflected in the number of their images held in the collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Getty Museum, little is known about the diverse backgrounds of the individuals behind their work. A compilation of captivating stories, Adirondack Photographers provides a vivid, intimate account of the evolution of photography, as well as an unusual perspective on Adirondack history.
Sally E. Svenson is an independent scholar. She is the author of Adirondack Churches: A History of Design and Building and Blacks in the Adirondacks: A History.
8.5 x 11, 208 pages, 51 color, 25 black and white illustrations