Classroom in the Emerson School for Girls

Photography Studio Southworth and Hawes American
Albert Sands Southworth American
Josiah Johnson Hawes American

Not on view

Daguerreotypy, the first photographic process, spread around the world after its inventor Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) presented it to the public in 1839. Exposed in a camera obscura and developed in mercury vapors, each highly polished silvered-copper plate is a unique photograph that exhibits extraordinary detail and three-dimensionality when viewed in proper light.
While 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, the firm also made a limited number of exterior and interior views outside their controlled studio setting. This daguerreotype shows the most prominent school for young women in Boston, established in 1823 by George Barrell Emerson, second cousin of the poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Classroom in the Emerson School for Girls, Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–1863), Daguerreotype

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