Albert Sands Southworth (American, West Fairlee, Vermont 1811–1894 Charlestown, Massachusetts)
Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, Wayland, Massachusetts 1808–1901 Crawford Notch, New Hampshire)
21.6 x 16.5 cm (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.)
Gift of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, 1937
Not on view
This first photographic process, invented by Louis Daguerre (1798-1851), spread rapidly around the world after its public presentation in Paris in 1839. Exposed in a camera obscura and developed in mercury vapors, each highly polished silver plate is a one-of-a-kind photograph that, viewed in proper light, exhibits extraordinary detail and three-dimensionality. The Boston partnership of Southworth and Hawes produced the finest portrait daguerreotypes in America for a clientele that included leading political, intellectual, and artistic figures. Nothing is known today about Miss Hodges, but Southworth and Hawes made two costly whole-plate portraits of her for their studio collection, suggesting that she was sufficiently well known – or sufficiently photogenic – to warrant displaying her likeness in the front-room public gallery.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso: "Miss Hodges of Salem"
Marking: Hallmark, BL: Doublé / J.P. (see Spirit of Fact #9, p. 153)
Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, or Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes; [Holman's Print Shop, Boston]; I.N. Phelps Stokes, New York, 1937
A cash book in the GEH manuscript collection records a visit to the Southworth & Hawes studio by a "Miss Hodges" on October 23, 1848. Nothing is known today about Miss Hodges, but Southworth & Hawes made two costly whole-plate portraits of her for their studio collection, suggesting that she was sufficently well known - or sufficently photogenic - to warrant displaying her likeness in the front-room gallery.