Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Portrait of a Youth]

Artist:
Unknown
Date:
1850–60s
Medium:
Salted paper print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 31.8 x 27.2 cm (12 1/2 x 10 11/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.88
Not on view
This highly unusual formal portrait of a young African-American boy with the studied composure of a visiting prince came to light in a Boston auction in the 1980s. As the spiritual center of the abolitionist movement, Boston is a likely source for this large salted paper print. The photographer presents his sitter as destined for prominence, an apt embodiment of the abolitionist cause. The carefully posed composition and the size of the picture suggest the work of one of Boston's finest photographers: John Adams Whipple, James Wallace Black, or the firm of Southworth & Hawes.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil, verso BR: "Child of // old servant"
[Paul Katz]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, February 17, 1984

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 41a".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 41b," October 3, 2005–January 8, 2006.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "From the Gilman Collection: Photographs Preserved in Ink," November 15, 1984–February 26, 1985.

Palais de Tokyo, Paris. "Procédés, Procédés," October 7, 1987–November 30, 1987.

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.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Portraits: A Century of Photographs," September 10, 2002–January 13, 2003.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Old Faces and Places: American Photographs, 1845-1870," February 3, 2004–April 25, 2004.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 88.

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. no. 100.



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