Boston Camera Club

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Exhibition room of the Boston Camera Club, 50 Bromfield St., circa 1893.

The Boston Camera Club is the leading amateur photographic organization serving Boston, Massachusetts and vicinity. Founded in 1881, it offers activities of interest to amateur photographers, particularly digital photography. It meets weekly and is open to the public.


Photography was introduced publicly in 1839.[1] For some decades practice was limited largely to professionals because it involved laborious wet-plate processes.[2]

Amateur photography in the United States received major impetus in 1880 when Eastman Kodak introduced dry platesglass plates with dry emulsion that were easier to handle than wet plates. In 1888 Kodak introduced the first flexible roll photographic medium — first paper and soon film — and third-party processing. These innovations brought photography to the masses.[3] Still, camera club photography typically used glass plates until the early 20th century, when the capabilities of film began to approach that of glass. Outside processing of photographs was typically frowned upon in camera clubs until the color photography era.

Boston Society of Amateur Photographers, 1881[edit]

The club known today as the Boston Camera Club was founded October 7, 1881 in Boston, Massachusetts as the Boston Society of Amateur Photographers, and is the second-oldest continuously extant amateur camera club in the United States.[4]

The club was founded by F. H. Blair, James M. Codman, W. C. Greenough, A. P. Howard, Lucius L. Hubbard, Frederick Ober, and John H. Thurston,[5] with Thurston having the most influential role. At first, temporary officers were elected.

The seven men were joined on November 18, 1881 by James F. Babcock (1844–1897),[6] William T. Brigham, Wilfred A. French,[7] and William A. Hovey, at which time permanent officers were elected — Brigham president, Babcock vice president, and French secretary and treasurer.

The club first met temporarily in the offices of the Boston Sunday Budget, and then regularly at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at the time located in Boston.[8]

Boston Camera Club, 1886[edit]

As amateur photography in the United States became more widespread, in 1886 the club changed its name to the Boston Camera Club. On April 6, 1887, it incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under the new name,[9] stating as its purpose the promotion of "the knowledge of photography in all its branches and the promotion of social intercourse among the amateur photographers of Boston and vicinity."[10][11]

50 Bromfield Street, 1886–1924[edit]

In 1886, the year it became the Boston Camera Club, the club established permanent headquarters at 50 Bromfield Street, Boston.[12][13] The address may have been selected by virtue of its being the place of business of club founder John H. Thurston[14] and club member Charles Henry Currier (1851–1938).[15]

"Boston Types — Miss H" by Walter G. Chase, Boston Camera Club, circa 1896. Exhibited in the 1896 Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition, Washington DC.

The club had eight rooms:

"There is a well-selected library ...; a large exhibition gallery ...; a studio ... fitted with screens, cameras, and 2 of the finest Dallmeyer portrait lenses, also a fine double stereopticon; an enlarging room, with apparatus for making bromide enlargements, enlarged negatives and lantern slides by the use of an electric arc light; dark rooms ..."[16]

Importantly, at 50 Bromfield Street the Boston Camera Club held public exhibitions of photography that featured works by both its members and prominent guest photographers. The club occupied 50 Bromfield Street until 1924.[17]

Early 20th-century difficulties[edit]

For reasons not yet researched, financial difficulties developed by 1913 and lasted until 1931. Membership in the Boston Camera Club declined and meetings were much less frequent.[17]

During this period the club was kept alive by the financial and other efforts of Frank Roy Fraprie (1874–1951), Phineas Hubbard (club president 1908–1913 and possibly longer), Horace A. Latimer (1860–1931), and club founder John Thurston. In 1924 the club relinquished its rooms at 50 Bromfield Street, after which it met for some years at the Boston Young Men's Christian Union (YMCU).[18]

Horace A. Latimer bequest, 1931[edit]

In 1931, a bequest by longstanding club member Horace A. Latimer, an independently wealthy amateur photographer of some renown,[19] reinvigorated the Boston Camera Club.[20] With the funds the club would soon purchase new headquarters. First, however, it moved to 330 Newbury Street, in the Back Bay section of Boston, which it occupied until 1934.

351A Newbury Street, 1934–1980[edit]

In 1934 the Boston Camera Club purchased a building at 351A Newbury Street in Back Bay, Boston with part of Horace Latimer's bequest. The club occupied three floors. There was a large and small exhibition gallery, darkroom, library, and kitchen. Public exhibitions of photography presumably resumed.

Membership in the club grew again, reaching, for example, 286 members in 1946.[21] That year the club decided for tax purposes to sell its 351A building and remain in the building as a lessee.[22]

Growth in the club continued, reaching 555 in 1959 — 492 regular, 51 associate and 4 honorary members — a level the club maintained for some two decades. Besides post-war prosperity, the growth is attributable to the introduction of 35mm film by Kodak in the 1930s, and single lens reflex (SLR) 35mm cameras by Nikon, Pentax and others in the 1960s. During this era enthusiasts often sought out instruction in the use of such cameras by joining a camera club.

Brookline, Massachusetts, 1980–present[edit]

In 1980 the 351A Newbury Street building was sold and the Boston Camera Club moved from Boston to the adjacent town of Brookline, Massachusetts. In 1997 it moved across town to its current location, also in Brookline.

In the 1980s and 1990s membership again declined dramatically, a trend attributable both to camera automation — for example autofocus and programmed exposure, which reduced the need for user instruction — and to consumer video and other factors.

Since 2000 membership has increased again to about 150 today, due in large part to the club's emphasis on digital photography.[23]

Exhibitions and salons[edit]

The exhibition history of the Boston Camera Club is long and complex. The club has held several species of photographic shows. Starting in the 1880s the club held its first public exhibitions by its members. These lasted until about 1910, after which the club underwent some two decades of financial difficulty. Member exhibitions presumably resumed after the club's revival in 1931 but have not been researched.

In the 1890s the Boston Camera Club participated in the annual Joint Exhibitions of Photography with two other prominent camera clubs.

The club has mounted public exhibitions by outside photographers, sometimes prominent. These were held from the 1890s for perhaps a decade, and again from perhaps the 1940s and ending by 1980 when the club moved out of 351A Newbury Street, Boston, the club's last facility that had gallery space.

For several decades of the 20th century the Boston Camera Club held annual photographic salons — judged competitive exhibitions open to both club members and the international public. The club's first series of salons was held for a few years in the first decade of the 20th century. From 1932 to 1981 the club hosted a second series of international salons, held annually during most of that period.

Early member exhibitions[edit]

About 1883 the Boston Society of Amateur Photographers, as the club was first known, held its first exhibition at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an unusually large show of some 700 photographic prints.

In 1892 club members exhibited in the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association's triennial exhibition.[24]

In the club's seventh and tenth member exhibitions, in 1895 and 1898 respectively, member Emma D. Sewall received the top award.[25] In the 1898 show Sarah Jane Eddy, and painter and member of the Photo-Secession Sarah Choate Sears, were prominent.[26]

In 1900 the Boston Camera Club held an exhibition by member Fred Holland Day. In 1904 it exhibited its members' work at Day's Boston studio.[27] The same year the club helped organize, and exhibited in, a photograph exhibition at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World's Fair).

The club's annual show of 1910, which photographic journal Photo-Era called the club's "best for many years," had prints by Sarah Jane Eddy, Frank R. Fraprie, Horace A. Latimer, and Joseph Prince Loud.[28]

The 1910 show is the last exhibition known to be held by the club until 1932, when the Boston Salon was launched.

Joint Exhibition of Photography, 1887–1894[edit]

The first outside exhibitions in which the Boston Camera Club was involved were the so-called Joint Exhibitions of Photography, sponsored jointly by the Boston Camera Club, Photographic Society of Philadelphia, and Society of Amateur Photographers of New York.[29] The venue rotated annually among the three cities. The Boston club participated in the first seven exhibitions, from 1887 to 1894. At first, all three clubs shared in the preparation for each show.

In the first Joint Exhibition, held in New York City in 1887, Joseph Prince Loud (Boston Camera Club president 1897–1901) and Horace A. Latimer received the Boston club's only diplomas. In the third Joint Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1889, Boston was represented by Wilfred A. French, Horace Latimer who was the club's only award winner, and William Garrison Reed.[30]

Beginning with the fourth Joint Exhibition in New York City in 1891, collaborative preparation ended and each club individually ran the exhibition in the city in which it was held. In the 1891 Exhibition Latimer exhibited the most prints from the Boston club.

The fifth Joint Exhibition, held at the Boston Art Club in 1892, included 18 prints by Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and 45 prints by Boston Camera Club member Francis Blake, Jr.

Of the sixth Joint Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1893, Stieglitz said, "It was, without doubt, the finest exhibition of photographs ever held in the United States, and probably was but once excelled in any country."[31]

After the seventh Joint Exhibition in 1894, the Boston Camera Club withdrew from the Joint Exhibitions, citing lack of manpower.

1900s salon; Boston International Exhibition of Photography, 1932–1981[edit]

The Boston Camera Club has had two series of photographic salons, or competitive exhibitions.

The first salon series was held in the first decade of the 20th century. At present only the second salon in the series, held in 1906, has been identified.[32] The year of the first salon is unknown. Presumably these salons lasted only a few years, before the club entered a period of financial difficulty about 1913.

In 1931 the club revived financially. Accordingly, in 1932 the club launched a new annual international competition, the Boston Salon of Photography, held nearly annually over a period of almost five decades.[33]

In 1953 the salon was renamed the Boston International Exhibition of Photography, although informally it was often still called the Boston Salon. Also that year, the Frank R. Fraprie (FRAYP-ree) Memorial Medal was created in recognition of Fraprie's role, along with Horace Latimer, in having kept the club alive in the 1910s and 1920s.

With entries in Boston Camera Club competitions heretofore limited to black-and-white prints, starting in 1954 color slides were also accepted. From 1959 color prints were admitted as well. The 43rd and last exhibition, which comprised color slides only, was held in 1981 as part of the club's 100th anniversary.

In discontinuing the annual exhibition, the club again cited lack of manpower, this time due to growth. Whereas the club's earlier salons typically received some hundreds of entries each, the 1981 exhibition required a man-year of labor to process over 3,000 submissions.[34]

Judges who served over the 50 years of the Boston International Exhibition included Cecil B. Atwater (1886–1981, club president 1942 to at least 1944), A. Aubrey Bodine (1906–1960), Leonard Craske, Eleanor Parke Custis, Franklin I. Jordan, Adolf Fassbender, L. Whitney Standish, John H. Vondell (d. circa 1967), John W. Doscher (d. after 1971), and Henry F. Weisenburger (b. 1924).

Exhibition entrants included Croatian photographer Tošo Dabac in 1937; A. Aubrey Bodine who won the Fraprie medal in 1953, 1955 and 1959; 1940s pictorialist photographer Rowena Fruth (1896–1983); Hong Kong and American photographic prodigy, actor and director Ho Fan (Fan Ho) (b. 1937)[35] who first entered the exhibition in 1954 at age 17; Wellington Lee who competed 1950–1981; and Mexican director José Lorenzo Zakany Almada[36] who won the Boston Camera Club Medal in 1968.

Guest exhibitors[edit]

From the late 19th until the latter 20th century, the Boston Camera Club had exhibitions by prominent outside photographers.

About 1890 the club exhibited the work of English photographic pioneer Henry Peach Robinson (1830–1901).

In 1896 the Boston Camera Club showed work by Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), who later founded the Photo-Secession. Also in 1906, it exhibited 150 photographs by Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934).[37]

In 1899 the club showed work by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864–1952).[38] The same year it exhibited the work of Clarence White (1871–1925), organized and hung by Fred Holland Day.[39]

About this time the club exhibited work by Rudolph Dührkoop (1848–1918).[40] There were other exhibitions by lesser-known photographers.[41]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, U.S. camera clubs were mounting exhibitions of each other's work. For example, in 1908 the Boston club exhibited works from the Buffalo (New York) Camera Club, the Capitol Camera Club of Washington DC, and the Portland (Maine) Camera Club.[42]

In 1940 the Boston Camera Club exhibited the work of Edward Weston (1886–1958).[43]

In 1950 it showed work by Paul Gittings, Sr.

In 1953 the club exhibited work from 1843–1848 of pioneer Scottish photographers David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848) (Hill and Adamson).

Member exhibitions after 1931[edit]

After the Boston Camera Club's revival in 1931 the club moved temporarily into 330 Newbury Street, Boston. It is unknown whether this space had an exhibition room. In 1934 the club purchased its permanent facility at 351A Newbury Street, which had a large gallery space. Public exhibitions of outsiders' work held during this period were mentioned. Presumably the club had members' shows as well, but these have yet to be identified.

In 1980 the club relinquished 351A Newbury Street. Hence, by necessity all member shows since then have been held at outside venues in the Boston area.

In more recent years the Boston Camera Club has exhibited its members' work at Boston City Hall (1993), Griffin Museum of Photography (1997),[44] and Hynes Convention Center (2004); at photographic retail establishments in the Boston area; and elsewhere.[45]


In discharging the mandate of its 1887 state charter to promulgate "the knowledge of photography," for most of its existence the Boston Camera Club has sponsored lectures, educational courses and other programs given by expert members and outsiders, some prominent.

In 1890 Boston Camera Club member and camera shutter pioneer Francis Blake, Jr. read to the club an important paper on shutters.[46][47]

In 1895 club member Owen A. Eames presented his Eames Animatoscope, an early motion picture device.[48]

In 1897 Friedrich von Voigtländer, head of the Austrian optical firm of the same name, spoke to the club.

In 1904 noted Boston photographer Fred Holland Day presented the paper for which he was well known, "Is Photography a Fine Art?"

There were many other lecturers in the club's early years.[49]

Records of guest speakers for much of the 20th century have not been studied. In the 1970s–1980s era the Boston Camera Club had presentations by Marie Cosindas and Minor White. There were day-long courses presented by John Sexton[50] in 1994, and Frans Lanting in 1997.

For some decades, Boston-area professionals such as staff photographers of The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald and instructors in Boston's photography colleges have been regular club presenters and competition judges.

The Boston Camera Club has provided courses and lectures on digital photography since the 1990s.

Other activities[edit]

About 1888 the Boston Camera Club undertook the Old Boston project, in which it "made a survey of buildings and farms for local archives."[51] The project proved valuable, as many of the buildings photographed no longer exist.

During the 1890s club members pursued stereoscopy. Lantern slides, the forerunner of 20th-century color slides, were popular as well. The club also undertook field trips, which it still undertakes today.[52]

In the 1940s the club was active in "entertainment and instruction of disabled veterans of World War II ... sponsor[ing] a camera club at one of the large Army convalescent hospitals nearby."[53]

In the 1950s and 1960s the club had a movie group and owned a Bell & Howell movie projector.

Prominent members[edit]

Since its inception in 1881 the Boston Camera Club has had a number of members who were prominent in photography. Because the club was founded before amateur photography was widespread, many of its earliest members were advanced practitioners. After consumer photographic technologies were introduced in the 20th century, the club comprised amateurs almost exclusively. Still, on occasion they were responsible for photographic achievements of note.

Starting no later than the early 1890s, the Boston Camera Club has recognized, through honorary life membership, the accomplishments of its members in photographic endeavors or in extraordinary service to the club; and of outside personalities from the Boston area for noted photographic achievement.

19th century[edit]

Photographically prominent persons who were members in the early days of the Boston Camera Club included Emma J. Fitz,[54] Maine photographic pioneer Emma D. Sewall (1836–1919),[55] and painter Sarah Jane Eddy (1851–1945).[56]

Two collaborators of Alexander Graham Bell were honorary members of the Boston Camera Club. One was the club's earliest known (1892) honorary member, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Charles "Charlie" Robert Cross (1848–1921).[57] The other was inventor and club vice president Francis Blake, Jr. (1850–1913), who is believed to have substantially helped the club financially in its early years. Blake's 1877 microphone was critical to Bell's telephone technology. As a camera shutter pioneer Blake achieved speeds of 1/2,000 second by 1890.[58]

Boston-area electric car manufacturer George Edward Cabot (1861–1946), an honorary member, was president of the Boston Camera Club in 1886–1890. Another early honorary member was late-19th century traveling lecturer Antonie Stölle, who in Boston and elsewhere presented innovative color slide-illustrated shows of art works.[59]

The Boston Camera Club counted two prominent astronomers among its members, Percival Lowell (1855–1916)[60] and honorary member William Henry Pickering (1858–1938), the latter a noted astrophotographer who discovered Saturn's moon Phoebe and advanced the cause of women in astronomy.

Painter, photographer, Boston arts patron and club member Sarah Choate Sears (1858–1935) was named a Member of the Photo-Secession by Alfred Stieglitz. In 1899 she had a solo exhibition at the club that included a portrait of Julia Ward Howe. The same year she showed at the second Boston Arts and Crafts Exhibition.[61]

In 1896 a photographic print by Horace A. Latimer (1860–1931) was shown in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution. Two photographs by Latimer appeared in Camera Notes,[62] the journal of The Camera Club of New York. Latimer, an independently wealthy amateur Boston photographer whose 1931 bequest almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of the Boston Camera Club, is perhaps the club's best-remembered early member today.

Noted photographer, publisher, Boston Camera Club member and esthete Fred Holland Day (1864–1933), the longtime dismissal of whose work was perhaps due in part to curatorial obeisance to Stieglitz' rejection of Day for not embracing the more focused realism of the Photo-Secession, judged at least one exhibition at the Boston Camera Club, in 1906.[63]

20th century[edit]

In the early 20th century three members of the Boston Camera Club were well-known photographic authors and publishers. From at least 1908 to 1921, the club's first secretary and treasurer Wilfred A. French was editor and publisher of Photo-Era.[7] Frank Roy Fraprie (1874–1951), one of the best-known photographic publishers in the United States, was a prolific author in the field.[64] Honorary member Franklin Ingalls "Pop" Jordan (1876–1956) was a photographic author and editor.

In the same era, Adolf "Papa" Fassbender (1884–1980), the German-born New York City-based educator called a "one-man photographic institution," launched a career of 72 years that saw him train thousands in photography.[65]

Meanwhile the Boston Camera Club continued to attract non-photographic artists of note who practiced photography secondarily. They included Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial sculptor Leonard Craske (KRASK) (1882–1950); honorary member and Cape Ann, Massachusetts artist, photographer and travel writer Samuel V. Chamberlain (1895–1975); and painter Emil Albert Gruppé (1896–1978). Another member was post-Secessionist photographer and watercolorist Eleanor Parke Custis (1897–1983).[66][67]

In 1939 amateur photographer, photographic author and publisher, and honorary club member Arthur Hammond (1880–1962) won top prize from organizers of the New York World's Fair for his photo of the Fair's Trylon and Perisphere.[68]

One of the most well-known figures in photography in the latter 20th century, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and Boston Camera Club honorary member Harold E. "Doc" Edgerton (1903–1990), inventor of the photographic strobe,[69] took the well-known Life magazine photographs of a bullet penetrating an apple and an impact crown of milk droplets. Lesser known are his night aerial strobe work for the Allies in World War II, co-founding of defense contractor EG&G,[70] and undersea explorations with Jacques Cousteau.[71]

Boston Camera Club honorary member and photojournalist Arthur Griffin (1903–2001) was the best-known photographer of New England scenery in the mid-20th century.[72]

Honorary member H. Bradford Washburn, Jr. (1910–2007) was a noted mountaineer, aerial photographer, and founder of the Boston Museum of Science.[73][74]

Architect and amateur photographer, honorary member L. Whitney "Whit" Standish (1919–?) was one of the most influential members of the Boston Camera Club in the 20th century, having held virtually every executive club position including president (1939–1942 and 1945–1946) and Boston Salon judge, and having been instrumental in establishing the club's weekly meetings, competitions, educational courses, and newsletter.

21st century[edit]

Boston Camera Club honorary member, aeronautical engineer Henry F. Weisenburger (club president 1965–1967), an amateur photographer since the 1940s who joined the club in 1954, is arguably the longest-active living exponent of amateur photography in New England, having instructed thousands in photography since the 1950s.

Honorary member Lou Jones (b. 1945) is a Boston-based commercial, Olympic Games and jazz photographer, photojournalist, and educator whose books include Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row (1996).[75]

Photographic affiliations[edit]

Boston Camera Club members Cecil B. Atwater, Eleanor Parke Custis, John W. Doscher, Adolf Fassbender, Rowena Fruth, Barbara Green, Arthur Hammond, Franklin I. Jordan, Charles B. Phelps, Jr. (1891–1949), L. Whitney Standish, John H. Vondell, Edmund A. Woodle (1918–2007), and Richard Yee have been Fellows of the Photographic Society of America (FPSA). Frank R. Fraprie and Allen G. Stimson (d. 1996) were Honorary Fellows.

Atwater, Doscher, Fassbender, Green, Hammond, Jordan, and Yee have been Fellows of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS) of Great Britain. Fraprie was Honorary Fellow.

Roydon (Roy) Burke (1901–1993) was, and Henry F. Weisenburger is, a Master Member of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC).[76]

As professional photographers, Arthur Griffin and Lou Jones have belonged to such groups as the American Society of Media Photographers (Griffin charter member,[77] Jones board of directors).

Museum holdings[edit]

The U.S. Library of Congress has major holdings of the work of at least two Boston Camera Club members. "Photographs of middle class life in Boston, 1890s–1910s" is a collection of 523 photographs made by Charles Henry Currier.[78] The Library also holds the largest number of photographs of Fred Holland Day.[79]

There are substantial institutional holdings of the work of Francis Blake, Jr., Eleanor Parke Custis, Harold E. Edgerton, Adolf Fassbender, Arthur Griffin (by his Griffin Museum of Photography),[44] Emil Gruppé, L. Whitney Standish, H. Bradford Washburn, and others.[80]


As it has for most of its existence, the Boston Camera Club meets weekly. Meetings are held at its 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts headquarters every Tuesday evening from September to June. Guests are welcome free of charge.

The club's primary emphasis is on digital photography. Activities range from beginners to advanced and comprise education, print competitions and critique,[81] a live-model portrait studio, field trips, and inter-club competitions. Outside speakers and competition judges are regularly invited.

The club communicates through its website[82] and newsletter, The Reflector, launched in 1938 and published electronically.

The Boston Camera Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a member of the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC)[76] and Photographic Society of America (PSA).[83]

Image gallery[edit]

Boston Camera Club publications and records[edit]

  • Boston Camera Club. Records. Volume 1, 1881–1896. Volume 2, 1897–1929, two paginations. Volume 3, 1929–1942 (etc.) Boston Athenaeum. Boston MA.
  • Boston Camera Club. Notice of First Meeting. February 3, 1887.
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Religious, etc. Corporations / Certificate of Organization under Massachusetts Public Statutes Chapter 115, Section 4, etc. February 25, 1887.
  • Third Annual Joint Exhibition of Photographs. The Society of Amateur Photographers of New York, The Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Boston Camera Club. 1889.
  • Catalogue of Exhibits at the Fifth Annual Joint Exhibition of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Society of Amateur Photographers of New York and the Boston Camera Club at the Boston Camera Club, May 2 to May 7, 1892.
  • Boston Camera Club. Catalogue: Photographs: Boston Camera-Club, by the Courtesy of the Boston Art Club at Their Galleries. Circa 1892. (Fifth annual exhibition of Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Society of Amateur Photographers of New York, and BCC.) Harvard University. Fine Arts Library.
  • Sixth Annual Exhibition. Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Society of Amateur Photographers of New York, Boston Camera Club, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 1893.
  • Catalogue of the Seventh Annual Competitive Exhibition by Members of the Boston Camera Club: At Their Club-rooms, 50 Bromfield Street, Boston, April, 1895.
  • Boston Camera Club. Constitution, By-Laws and Rules. 1896.
  • Boston Camera Club. Exhibition catalog and booklet. 1900.
  • The Year Book. 1900. (Officers, members, club rules, diagram of club rooms.) Smithsonian Institution. Archives of American Art. Microfilm reel 4858, frames 517–525.
  • Catalogue of the Third (First International) Salon. Boston Art Club; Boston Camera Club. 1934.
  • Boston Camera Club. The Reflector (newsletter). Various issues (incomplete). First issue. Volume 1. February 1938.
  • Boston Salon of Photography (from 1953 on called Boston International Exhibition of Photography). Various catalogs (incomplete). 12th Salon 1943 through 43rd Exhibition 1981. Collection Boston Camera Club.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The first photograph was achieved privately in France in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833). See "The First Photograph," owned by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Photography was introduced publicly in Paris in 1839 by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851). See History of photography.
  2. ^ For example, see daguerreotypes and collodion photography.
  3. ^ The introduction of film and processing services by Kodak (initially called Eastman Dry Plate Company) can be said to have enabled a new branch of photography, today sometimes termed vernacular photography.
  4. ^ The oldest continuously extant amateur camera club in the United States is the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1862 and hence 19 years older than the Boston Camera Club. The first amateur camera club in the United States was the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, New York City, extant 1861–1863 and revived twice in the later 20th century. "In 1880 there were fewer than 10 photographic clubs in the United States, most of which were populated by professionals." Patricia J. Fanning, Through an Uncommon Lens: The Life and Photography of F. Holland Day. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008, p. 66.
  5. ^ Ronald Polito, editor. Chris Steele and Ronald Polito, A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839–1900. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1993, pp. 171, 176. Thurston was a Boston photographic supplier.
  6. ^ Babcock was a well-known Boston chemist and science lecturer who held several U.S. patents.
  7. ^ a b The son of daguerreotypist Benjamin French, Wilfred A. French was a Boston photographer and photo supplier. He was editor and publisher, from no later than 1908 until 1921, of Photo-Era: The American Journal of Photography, one of the best-known journals in the field, to which he was also a frequent contributor. In 1899 Photo-Era stated it would henceforth be the official organ of the Boston Camera Club and the Harvard University Camera Club. The effort seems to have been short-lived, announcements of Boston Camera Club activities having ceased appearing in the journal by 1910. Photo-Era, Volume 2, Number 2, January 1899, p. 203. Polito, pp. 63, 167.
  8. ^ Today Massachusetts Institute of Technology is located across the Charles River from Boston, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  9. ^ Boston Camera Club. Notice of First Meeting, February 3, 1887.
  10. ^ Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "Religious, etc. Corporations / Certificate of Organization" under Massachusetts Public Statutes Chapter 115, Section 4 etc., February 25, 1887.
  11. ^ Boston Camera Club. "Constitution, By-Laws and Rules," 1896.
  12. ^ Boston Almanac and Business Directory, 1891.
  13. ^ King's How to See Boston: A Trustworthy Guide Book, 1895.
  14. ^ Polito, p. 171. From the late 19th to nearly the end of the 20th century, Bromfield Street was Boston's prime camera retail district.
  15. ^ Charles Henry Currier was a Boston jeweler, professional photographer, and club vice president from 1897 to at least 1903. Polito, p. 48. Also:
  16. ^ The Photographic Times: An Illustrated Monthly, February 1901.
  17. ^ a b Boston Camera Club. Minutes.
  18. ^ The Boston Camera Club's meetings at the Boston Young Men's Christian Union (YMCU) at 48 Boylston St., Boston are not to be confused with the Camera Club of the Boston YMCU, founded in 1908 and extant to at least 1921. Since as of 1920 the YMCU club had 82 members and held exhibitions of photography, it seems to have been the leading camera club in Boston during the years of the Boston Camera Club's financial difficulties. Photo-Era, Volume 44, Number 4, April 1920, p. 214.
  19. ^ Among Latimer's interests were international travel photography and yachting photography. He was the only Boston Camera Club member published in Camera Notes, the official publication of The Camera Club of New York, of which he was also a member.
  20. ^ State of Maine. Last Will and Testament of Horace A. Latimer, October 19, 1931. In gratitude, the Boston Camera Club includes Latimer's work from its collection in all member exhibitions, for example Horace A. Latimer, "Festive Barque, Sicily," gum bichromate print, circa 1920, collection Boston Camera Club. Latimer bequeathed an equal amount of money to the Portland (Maine) Camera Club.
  21. ^ From an unknown date — probably the 19th century — and ending in the early 21st century, the club had both regular and associate members. Associates were corresponding members who lived beyond a 25-mile radius of Boston and paid half dues. The club's 1946 breakdown for example was 211 regular and 75 associate members.
  22. ^ Boston Camera Club. Succession of 5-year leases, the earliest dated June 1, 1946.
  23. ^ The first discussion and vote by the club on whether to allow digital images in its competitions took place in June 1995.
  24. ^ Boston Camera Club exhibitors in the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association's triennial exhibition were Francis Blake, Jr., Walter G. Chase, E. L. Drexel, Owen A. Eames, Sarah Jane Eddy, Wilfred A. French, John C. Holman, John C. Lee, James L. Little, George M. Morgan, Frederick Alcott Pratt and A. R. Wilmarth. Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Report of the Eighteenth Triennial Exhibition, Boston, 1893, pp. 175–181.
  25. ^ "Boston Camera Club," New York Times, April 14, 1895, p. 13.
  26. ^ W. Albert Hickman, "A Recent Exhibition: Tenth Annual Composition Exhibition, 1898. Boston Camera Club," Photo-Era, Volume 1, Number 1, May 1898, pp. 11–13.
  27. ^ Fanning, p. 138.
  28. ^ Photo-Era, Volume 25, Number 1, July 1910, pp. 48–49. Highlights from the show in: Volume 25, Number 2, August 1910.
  29. ^ Subsumed in 1896 into The Camera Club of New York.
  30. ^ In 1884 William Garrison Reed, club treasurer (1886–1890), photographed sites in eastern North Carolina of interest to the 44th Massachusetts Regiment, in which he served in the Civil War. He also participated in the club's Old Boston project of photographing Boston's historic buildings.
  31. ^ Alfred Stieglitz, "The Joint Exhibition at Philadelphia," The American Amateur Photographer, Volume 5, 1893, p. 201.
  32. ^ "Second Salon of the Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, May 13, 1906, p. 41.
  33. ^ "Catalogue of the Third (First International) Salon," Boston Art Club, Boston Camera Club, 1934. The title suggests the salon started in 1932 and had its first overseas competitors in 1934.
  34. ^ In the 1943 salon, the earliest for which records are readily available, the club received 699 prints from 172 entrants, from which 247 prints by 115 persons were selected for exhibition. By contrast, in 1981 3,291 entries were submitted by 788 entrants, of which 768 entries by 457 persons were selected. Boston Camera Club president (1976–1979) and honorary member David F. Rodd and president (1980–1982) Daniel D. R. Charbonnet shared the labor of preparing the 1981 exhibition.
  35. ^ Fan Ho - IMDb.
  36. ^ José Lorenzo Zakany Almada - IMDb.
  37. ^ Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, 1890.
  38. ^ Photo Era, Volume 2, Number 4, March 1899, p. 260.
  39. ^ Fanning, p. 149.
  40. ^ Rudolph Dührkoop,
  41. ^ For example, in 1907 — perhaps not a typical year — there were exhibitions by C. F. Clarke; Wendell G. Corthell; and Frederick Haven Pratt (1873–1958) of Worcester, Massachusetts, a distinguished physiologist and, like Sarah Choate Sears, a Member of the Photo-Secession. Works by Pratt and Sears are held by the New York Public Library. and Fanning, p. 150. Also shown in 1907 were Civil War photographs by Capt. D. Eldredge. American Amateur Photographer and Camera & Dark-room, 1907
  42. ^ Portland Camera Club.
  43. ^ American Photography. January 1941, p. 73.
  44. ^ a b Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts.
  45. ^ "Brookline Arts Center Welcomes the Boston Camera Club in a Member Showcase Exhibition," Brookline HUB, Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
  46. ^ Francis Blake, Jr. "Photographic Shutters." The paper read before the Boston Camera Club, April 14, 1890 was Blake's first public description of his achievements in high-speed photography. Massachusetts Historical Society, Blake papers, Volume 42. Published as: Francis Blake, Jr. "Photographic Shutters," American Amateur Photographer, February 1891, pp. 67–73.
  47. ^ Keith F. Davis, "The High-Speed Photographs of Francis Blake," The Massachusetts Historical Review, Volume 2, 2000, pp. 1–26.
  48. ^ This source states, "It is unlikely that projection was attempted." Eames was club treasurer 1894–1896.
  49. ^ Early lecturers at the club included Charles Currier of the Pacific Coast Amateur Photographic Association and S. Henry Hooper in 1890, Philip Clarkson in 1906, animal photographer Ernest Harold Baynes in 1908, and H. R. Jackson in 1909. Respectively: "Camera and Dry Plate: Public Entertainment by the Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, February 17, 1890, p. 6; "Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, November 11, 1890, p. 4; "Color Photography: Philip S. Clarkson of New York Gives Interesting Talk and Demonstration at Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, December 7, 1906, p. 2; Photo-era, Volume 20, 1908; "Friends Played Joke: Got at Chief Petty Officer Jackson's Slides and Created Fun for Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, April 9, 1909, p. 6.
  50. ^
  51. ^ Marsha Peters and Bernard Mergen, "Doing the Rest: The Uses of Photographs in American Studies," American Quarterl,. Volume 29, Number 3, 1977, p. 281. Several prints, now owned by the Boston Public Library, can be seen at
  52. ^ Wilfred A. French relates an anecdote about an encounter with prominent Boston photographer James Wallace Black by club members during a club excursion near Black's studio at 333 Washington Street in Boston in the 1880s. "Exposure Guides and Experience," Photo-Era, Volume 55, Number 5, May 1920, pp. 232–233, 262. Polito, p. 31.
  53. ^ Hillyer.
  54. ^ "Miss Emma J. Fitz," Richard Hines, Jr., "Women and Photography," The American Amateur Photographer, Volume 11, Number 3, March 1899, pp. 122–123.
  55. ^ Abbie Sewall. Message through Time: The Photographs of Emma D. Sewall, 1836–1919. Gardiner, ME: Harpwell Press, 1989.
  56. ^ "Miss Sarah J. Eddy," Hines, pp. 121–122. Eddy was a friend of Susan B. Anthony, and painted portraits of both her (1901 or 1902) and Frederick Douglass.
  57. ^ Charles R. Cross is believed to have taught the first electrical engineering course in the United States, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1882–1883.
  58. ^ See a portrait of, and a photograph by, Francis Blake in: Polito, facing p. 497. See also "The Francis Blake Laboratory Collection". Techantiques. 
  59. ^ "Colored Lantern Slides: Fraulein Stolle's Reproduction of Famous Works of Art: Tones and Colors All Preserved: Process Discovered by Accident after Unavailing Study: Interesting Reminiscences of Work Abroad," New York Times, November 24, 1895, p. A20.
  60. ^ Clark's Boston Blue Book, 1895.
  61. ^ Member was the lowest of three ranks of Photo-Secession membership, beneath Associate and Fellow. See also Photo-Era. Volume 2, Number 4, March 1899. pp. 260–261.
  62. ^ A photo by Horace Latimer was published in the October 1901 issue of Camera Notes, edited by Alfred Stieglitz. Another photo, "Water Carrier, Cuba" was the frontispiece in the October 1902 issue.
  63. ^ An interesting artifact is a photograph copy of a circa-1891 receipt for $15 membership dues from Fred Holland Day, signed by club treasurer F. Alcott Pratt. Collection Boston Camera Club. Frederick Alcott Pratt (1863–1910), treasurer of the club (1891–1893), was a nephew of Louisa May Alcott and trustee of her literary estate. F. Alcott Pratt. "An Experience with Paper Negatives." The American Amateur Photographer, Volume 1, Number 6, December 1889, pp. 256–257. See also Fanning, p. 157; Polito, p. 397.
  64. ^ Head of the American Photographic Publishing Company, Frank Roy Fraprie was editor of the annuals The American Amateur Photographer and American Annual of Photography.
  65. ^ Christian A. Peterson [et al.?], The Pictorial Artistry of Adolf Fassbender. [International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum?], 1994.
  66. ^ Jack Wright. "PSA Personalities: Eleanor Parke Custis, FPSA." Journal of the Photographic Society of America, Volume 11, Number 10, December 1945, pp. 549–550.
  67. ^ Eleanor Parke Custis, 1897–1983: Retrospective Exhibition, May 24 – June 21, 1986. Cambridge, MA: James R. Bakker Antiques, circa 1986.
  68. ^ Arthur Hammond, "Semi-Lunar," silver gelatin print, collection Boston Camera Club.
  69. ^ Roger R. Bruce, editor. Seeing the Unseen: Dr. Harold E. Edgerton and the Wonders of Strobe Alley. Exhibition catalog. Rochester, NY: George Eastman House; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. With his strobes Edgerton achieved exposure times of one-millionth of a second or faster.
  70. ^ EG&G, the 'E' in whose name represents 'E'dgerton, is now URS Federal Services.
  71. ^ "Harold E. Edgerton". GHN: IEEE Global History Network. 
  72. ^ Arthur Leo Griffin had photographs on the cover of Life and Time; had the first color photos in The Boston Globe, The Saturday Evening Post and Yankee; published coffee-table color photograph books on New England in collaboration with well-known authors; and in 1992 opened his Boston-area Griffin Museum of Photography.
  73. ^ Roy Rowan, "On a Bungled Flight to Nowhere, They Sought a Chinese Mountain High: When a Ballpoint Pen Czar and a Hotshot Pilot Went Looking for the World's Tallest Peak, All They Found Was Trouble," Smithsonian, March 1998. About H. Bradford Washburn.
  74. ^ Katharine Wroth, "High Art: The Astonishing Life & Work of Brad Washburn," Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoors (AMC Outdoors), March 2004, pp. 26–33.
  75. ^ "Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, Lou Jones, March 30, 2003 - June 19, 2003". The Museum of NCAAA, The National Center of Afro-American Artists.  See also
  76. ^ a b New England Camera Club Council (NECCC).
  77. ^ Peter Skinner, "A Legend's Legacy: Arthur Griffin Gives $10,000 to ASMP Foundation," American Society of Media Photographers Bulletin (ASMP Bulletin), November 2000, pp. 6–7.
  78. ^, LC Control Number (LCCN) 2004-681335.
  79. ^ The Library of Congress has 697 catalog entries on Fred Holland Day, most of them individual photographs.
  80. ^ The Massachusetts Historical Society holds photographs by Francis Blake, Jr., as well as his papers. An unknown number of works by Photo-Secession members Frederick Haven Pratt and Sarah Choate Sears are held by the New York Public Library.
  81. ^ In gratitude to Horace A. Latimer's 1931 bequest, the Boston Camera Club's print critique meetings are held under the name Horace A. Latimer Print Group.
  82. ^ Boston Camera Club.
  83. ^ Photographic Society of America.

Further reading[edit]

  • "New Dark Room for Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, October 7, 1890, p. 4.
  • "Caught from the Sun: Marvellous Work in Photography by the Members of the Boston Camera Club at Their Exhibition," Boston Daily Globe, January 7, 1892. p. 10.
  • Catherine Weed Barnes, "The Boston Fifth Annual Joint Exhibition," The American Amateur Photographer, Volume 4, Number 6, June 1892, pp. 259–264.
  • Benjamin Kimball, "The Boston Camera Club," New England Magazine, 1893. pp. 185–205.
  • Clark's Boston Blue Book. Boston: Edward E. Clark, published 1878–1937. The 1895–1903 editions list Boston Camera Club officers, members and honorary members.
  • "Studies in Classic Poses: Strong Exhibition of Photos Made at the Boston Camera Club Rooms," Boston Daily Globe, March 9, 1898, p. 7.
  • Wilfred A. French, "The Pictorial Attractions of Boston," Photo-Era, Volume 25, Number 2, August 1910, pp. 64–71, 94–95.
  • "Mr. Latimer Expresses His Views Somewhat at Length," Pictorial Photography in America, 1921, Pictorial Photographers Association, 1920, pp. 12–13.
  • Whit Hillyer, "Six Prints from Boston: Progressive Schedules Crowded with Events at the Back Bay Clubhouse Add to the Impressive Record of the Boston Camera Club's Sixty-five Year History" ("American Camera Clubs," Number 13), Popular Photography, March 1946, pp. 40–41, 154. With photos by club members Harold Elliot, Frank R. Fraprie, Arthur Hammond, H. B. Hills, Frankiln I. Jordan and Barbara Standish.
  • Franklin I. Jordan, "Pop Sez — ," American Photography, Volume 44, Number 3, March 1950, p. 28.
  • Peter Pollack, The Picture History of Photography: From the Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day. New York: Abrams, 1958.
  • Elizabeth F. Cleveland and Daniel D. R. Charbonnet, "Honoring Camera Clubs, Number 14: Boston Camera Club Centennial," Photographic Society of America Journal (PSA Journal), Volume 47, Number 10, October 1981, p. 32.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°20′14.59″N 71°8′32.02″W / 42.3373861°N 71.1422278°W / 42.3373861; -71.1422278