HANDSOME COUPLE IN LOCKPORT, NEW YORK (IS THE WOMAN AN AFRICAN AMERICAN?

A lovely couple pose for their portrait at a studio in Fairport, New York. The photographer is F. B.  Clench. This handsome couple is beautifully dressed. A previous owner of this card described the woman as an “African American Beauty”. She is certainly beautiful but it is not clear that she was an African American. A local modern day historical society described Clench as the finest photographer working in Fairport in the late 19th century. He was born in Niagara, Canada. He set up his first photographic studio in Lockport, New York in 1863. He operated in Fairport between 1889 and 1902. He then moved to Madison, Georgia until he returned to Fairport in 1914, the year of his death. Clench was clearly a talented photographer. Wilson’s photographic magazine described Clench as a “painstaking and progressive artist”. The reverse of this photograph is stamped with the following: “Clark T. Rice Collections, Perry, New York. Clark Rice (1922-1999) was a photographer in the Perry, New York area whose work captured the Perry area from just after World War II until the 1990’s. During World War II he was an army photographer. The Perry Library housed the Clark T. Rice collections.