Adirondack Photographers, 1850-1950
By Sally E. Svenson
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.
208 pages, Hardcover