Saturday, May 22, 2010

Herman and Vermin

Frances Benjamin Johnston's cats seated on brick railing of New Orleans house, Louisiana (between 1920 and 1950)
Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) was a photographer whose prodigious career spanned six decades and whose lens captured a vast array of topics. A woman of immense drive and energy, she is most commonly referred to as the first female photojournalist. However, she was also a charter member of the Photo-Secession, exhibiting her pictorialist work in a wide variety of salons and shows; she was a businesswoman who operated her own Washington, DC portrait studio and later, in New York City, a studio devoted to architectural photography; she was the recipient of awards and accolades and served as a mentor -particularly through her published essays and private correspondence -to countless women who aspired to her profession; and she was a peripatetic soul whose travels in the United States and abroad resulted in a tremendous body of work concentrating primarily on architecture and gardens (the fruit of her later years).
Interior of Frances Benjamin Johnston’s studio at 1332 V St. NW, Washington, D.C
The Huntington Library
Library of Congress

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