PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN WITH MUSSED HAIR IN JOHNSTOWN, NEW YORK

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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman wearing a dark dress full of distractions. The buttons on the dress are quite prominent and she is also wearing a collar jewelry and a corsage. Hanging from her chain necklace is a ring. One can hypothesize that the ring belongs to her husband or her beau. The woman’s hair is mussed but I imagine that we are looking at a hairstyle and not laziness or apathy on her part. This photograph was taken at the Kibbe studio in Johnstown, New York. William H. Kibbe (1846-1910) was born in Johnstown. As a school student he exhibited a great deal of talent via his pen and pencil sketching. He then worked briefly as a paint shop decorator but soon found more satisfying work at the studio of renowned engraver Vistus Balch. While working there he assisted in the production of engravings from drawings by Felix Octavius Carr Darley who was famous for his illustrations appearing in Charles Dickens’ novels. During this time Kibbe became acquainted with Napoleon Sarony’s portraits which contributed to his becoming an apprentice with photographer James F. Ryder. From this apprenticeship, Kibbe learned about every aspect of operating a photography studio and in 1871 he opened his own studio at 123 West Main Street in the “Kibbe building”.  His studio was decorated with his own oil and watercolor paintings and he was often joined there by his wife and son (Arthur Fonclair Kibbe) who would assist him. Kibbe was a major contributor to several photographic journals. His obituary appears in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1910). A portrait of Mr. Kibbe can be seen below.

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Published in: on November 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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PROFILE OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of John H. Ryder in Cleveland, Ohio. The subject is wearing a collar pin, earrings, and a interesting patterned dress. John H. Ryder (aka Jack) was a daguerreotype artist and photographer active on and off in Cleveland from the late 1850’s until his death in 1898. He was born in New York around 1832. After working with his older brother James F Ryder (1826-1904) for many years, he opened his own studio in 1884. John Ryder found a diversion from his photography career during his days of working for his brother. Some time around 1864 he went on a series of tours with humorist Charles F. Browne who was known on the lecture series as Artemus Ward”. Ryder served as Browne’s agent and manager. A photograph of Browne can be found below.

Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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