Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Fascinated by François Gouraud's demonstrations in Boston of Daguerre's new invention Albert Southworth, a pharmacist in Cabotville (now Chicopee), Massachusetts, went to New York in 1840 to study the technique with Samuel Morse. Within a year he had opened a daguerreotype studio in Boston with Morse's assistant, Joseph Pennell, who had been Southworth's roommate in preparatory school. When Pennell left the firm in 1843, Josiah Johnson Hawes took his place, and the celebrated nineteen-year partnership of Southworth and Hawes was born. The firm was known around the world for its aesthetic accomplishments and technical finesse. The artistic ambitions of Southworth and Hawes are clearly demonstrated in this eccentric half plate daguerreotype of Southworth in the guise of a classical bust. Although in all probability a self-portrait, there has been some speculation that it may have been made by Hawes, who devised a popular vignetting technique. The hand coloring was probably applied by Southworth's sister, Nancy, who joined the firm in 1841 and married Hawes in 1849. The portrait is unusual in that, with few exceptions, American daguerreotypists rarely even hinted at nudity.
Inscription: [no inscriptions or annotations visible]
Josiah Johnson Hawes; Edward Southworth Hawes, 1901; Edward McKean Hawes, 1941; Janet Laurie Hawes, 1953; Edward L. Hawes, 1954; Arthur S. Siegel (sold, Christies East, May 16, 1980); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Self Portrait: The Photographer's Persona 1840–1985," November 7, 1985–January 7, 1986.
National Portrait Gallery, London. "Staging the Self: Self-Portrait Photography 1840s-1980s," October 3, 1986–January 11, 1987.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," February 4, 1989–April 30, 1989.
National Gallery of Australia. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," June 17, 1989–August 27, 1989.
Royal Academy of Arts. "The Art of Photography 1839-1989," September 23, 1989–December 23, 1989.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.
Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. pl. 93.
Marien, Mary Warner. Photography: A Cultural History. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002. p. 71.
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. 4.