"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, or 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 quickly 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 borders, as well as many who immigrated from other countries, have been central in defining the Adirondacks.
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 over two hundred photographers is enriched with over seventy illustrations. While the popularity of some of these photographers’ images is reflected in public collections such as the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Getty Center, little is known about the diverse backgrounds of the men and women 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, 232 pages, 51 color, 25 black and white illustrations