This photograph, by celebrated photographer Charles Eisenmann, exudes love. A young girl is pictured hugging her father and she exhibits a very loving expression. The father appears truly happy to be the recipient of such love. This photograph was taken by a famous photographer of the cabinet card era. Charles Eisenmann (1855-1927) was German born and was a celebrated cabinet card photographer during the 1880’s and 1890’s. His studio was located in New York City’s Bowery District. This part of the city was populated by many people who were considered “on the fringe of society”. The area was full of artists, transients, and prostitutes. The Bowery district appeared in the movie Gangs of New York (2002).  Eisenmann was noted for his photographs of human oddities (side show “freaks” and people with unusual birth defects). He was also known for his photographs of Circassian beauties. These women were reported to be escapees from Turkish harems but in fact were local women who were costumed to look wild and wore teased  “big” hairdos. Eisenmann also did celebrity portraits. His customers included P. T. Barnum, Major Tom Thumb, Mark Twain and Annie Oakley. He left his Bowery studio in 1898 and was succeeded by his intern/son-in-law Frank Wendt. For a few years he took portraits out of a studio he operated in Plainfield, New Jersey. The above photograph is a product of that studio. He later went to work for Dupont where he was the director of the photography department. A number of institutions have collections of Eisenmann’s work. Syracuse University’s library has a collection of more than 14,000 Eisenmann images.

Published in: on June 15, 2014 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. It is a beautiful portrait. Almost too pretty. Because Eisenmann took photos of theatrical people as well as circus folk, I can’t help thinking they might be a actors from some father and daughter melodrama of the New York stage.

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