Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Girl with Portrait of George Washingtion]

Photography Studio:
Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–1863)
Artist:
Albert Sands Southworth (American, West Fairlee, Vermont 1811–1894 Charlestown, Massachusetts)
Artist:
Josiah Johnson Hawes (American, Wayland, Massachusetts 1808–1901 Crawford Notch, New Hampshire)
Date:
ca. 1850
Medium:
Daguerreotype
Dimensions:
21.6 x 16.5 cm (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of I. N. Phelps Stokes, Edward S. Hawes, Alice Mary Hawes, and Marion Augusta Hawes, 1937
Accession Number:
37.14.53
Not on view
The Boston partnership of Southworth and Hawes produced the finest portrait daguerreotypes in America for a clientele that included the leading political, intellectual, and artistic figures. 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 unique photograph that, viewed in proper light, exhibits extraordinary detail and three-dimensionality.
This mesmerizing portrait would also seem to be an allegory of allegiance, in which the young girl directs the viewer’s attention back to the iconic painting of George Washington. Recent scholarship suggests that this daguerreotype is actually a copy of another daguerreotype--adding further to the complex play of gazes--but as yet the subject and exact meaning of this enigmatic image are not known.
Marking: Hallmark, BR: S&F in lozenge [see Spirit of Fact (Sobieszek and Appel, 1976) #4, p. 152]
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

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Hawes-Stokes Collection of American Daguerreotypes by Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes," November 4, 1939–December 7, 1939.

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. "The Spirit of Fact: The Daguerreotype of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862," February 1976–June 1976.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "The Spirit of Fact: The Daguerreotype of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862," July 1976–December 1976.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The Spirit of Fact: The Daguerreotype of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862," January 1977–February 1977.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," February 11, 1989–April 30, 1989.

Canberra. National Gallery of Australia. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," June 17, 1989–August 27, 1989.

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," September 23, 1989–December 23, 1989.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 3," October 3, 1993–March 1, 1994.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "American Politicians," October 4, 1994–January 3, 1995.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "American Politicians," April 27, 1995–June 25, 1995.

Corcoran Gallery of Art. "American Politicians," July 14, 1995–September 4, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Beyond the Edges: An Insider's Look at Early Photographs," October 9, 1998–February 14, 1999.

International Center of Photography. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," June 17, 2005–September 4, 2005.

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," October 1, 2005–January 8, 2006.

Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. "Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes," January 28, 2006–April 9, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag," June 6, 2006–September 4, 2006.

Rudisill, Richard. Mirror Image: The Influence of the Daguerreotype on American Society. 1st ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971. p. 285.

Moore, Charles LeRoy. "Two Partners in Boston: The Careers and Daguerreian Artistry of Albert Southworth and Josiah Hawes." Master's thesis, University of Michigan, 1975. no. 115.

Sobieszek, Robert A., and Odette M. Appel. The Spirit of Fact: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862. Rochester: George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, 1976. no. 57.

Ackley, Clifford S. The Spirit of Fact: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862. Illustrated Catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 19 through March 20, 1977. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1977. no. 57.

Romer, Grant B., and Brian Wallis, ed. Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. New York: George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, 2005. no. 1478.



The painting is Gilbert Stuart's unfinished life portrait of George Washington (1796), which was acquired by the Boston Athenaeeum in 1831. Southworth & Hawes apparently copied the painting in 1853 (cat nos. 1906-11), either at the Athenaeum or in their studio, as they exhibited their daguerreotype copy between 1853 and 1857.
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