PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN WINS THE LOTTERY IN NEW YORK CITY

MORENOA pretty young woman sits on a faux rock as she poses at the Moreno studio in New York City. She is holding what appears to be an envelope in her hand but at first glance looks like bank check. This fashionable subject is very thin waisted and present herself in what the photographs previous owner called “a fetching pose”.  Antonio E. Moreno was a Cuban painter and graphic artist who became a photographer after seeing the success of his New York based countryman, Jose Maria Mora (see category “Photographer: Mora”). In 1881, Moreno took over a failing New York City photographic studio. The business end of the studio was run by his co-director, Jose Lopez. Moreno developed the business into a great success due to his great talent as a photographer, developer and innovator. He became noted in photographic circles and received much acclaim from his participation in photographic expositions. He surrounded himself with talented co-workers. Much of his staff came from Mexico. Spanish cameraman Antonio Urda was considered to be excellent at his craft but was a fiery man who eventually committed suicide by drinking development fluid after failing to murder printer Domingo Costello. After this incident, Moreno preferred to hire English speaking Europeans to work at his studio. One of his hires was printer Nahum Lubosh whom he snared from celebrated photographer B. J. Falk (see category “Photographer: Falk”).  Another employee, cameraman A. L. Simpson pioneered the use of slides utilized in theater sing-alongs. In 1890 Moreno partnered with the Taber Art Company in publishing photographs of beautiful female models in what has been described as “genre scenes and allegories”. The photographs were well posed, precisely lit and very tasteful. Moreno’s gallery was in business for a quarter of a century and was a center for performing arts portraiture. One wonders if the subject of this cabinet card portrait was in fact a theater actress. To view other photographs by Moreno, click on the category “Photographer: Moreno”.

“A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW” POSES FOR HIS PORTRAIT IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (PHOTOGRAPH BY TABER)

A jolly looking man poses for a portrait at the studio of Isaiah West Taber (1830-1912), in San Francisco, California. The happy gentleman has a wonderful mustache and earns the right to join other men with remarkable mustaches in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Taber was a well known daguerreotypist, ambrotypist and photographer who photographed many California notables. Taber was also a sketch artist and a dentist. He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Between 1845 and 1849, he worked on a whaling ship. He moved to California in 1850 and returned to the east, four years later. Upon his return, he opened a photography studio in Syracuse, New York. In 1864, he returned to California where he worked in the studio of Bradley and Rulofson until 1873. To view images by Bradley and Rulofson, click on the category, “Photographer: Bradley & Rulofson”. In 1871, Tabor opened his own studio and became famous for reproducing the photographs of well known California photographer, Carleton Watkins. Watkin’s business had gone bankrupt, and Taber reproduced his work without giving Watkins any credit. In 1880, Taber took a six week photographic trip to Hawaii. During part of that trip, he fulfilled his commission to photograph King Kalakaua. By 1890, Taber had expanded his operation to include studios in London and other parts of Europe. However, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, put him out of business. The natural disaster destroyed Taber’s studio, gallery and negatives.