[Landscape, Pride's Crossing]

Artist: Samuel Masury (American, 1818–1874)

Date: ca. 1856

Medium: Salted paper print from paper negative

Dimensions: 10 1/8 x 13 1/2

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Gilman Collection, Museum Purchase, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.100.869


Masury is known primarily as an early daguerreian portraitist who learned his trade in 1842 at John Plumbe’s Boston gallery. Interested in photography’s latest technical and artistic refinements, he traveled to Paris in 1855 to learn the glass negative process from the Bisson brothers, whose landscapes and architectural views were internationally celebrated. Charles Greeley Loring’s summer estate near Beverly, Massachusetts, on Boston’s North Shore, proved to be a perfect stage to test his new knowledge. One summer day, Masury trained his camera directly into the sun and took pleasure in the comparison between the foreground’s deep tonal shadows and the radiant expanse of sea and sky. This enchanting view, one of the earliest American landscapes on paper, recalls the paintings of Masury’s contemporary John F. Kensett, who often sketched at Loring’s estate.