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 in 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 announced 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 the future Eastman Kodak Co. introduced dry platesglass plates with emulsion already applied and dry. 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 eschewed, if not outright prohibited, 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. Accordingly it 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.

Initially the club met in the offices of the Boston Sunday Budget. Later it met 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 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 furthering 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 Boston Camera Club established permanent headquarters at 50 Bromfield Street, Boston.[12][13] The address may have been selected by being the places of business of club founder John H. Thurston[14] and member Charles Henry Currier (1851–1938).[15] The club had eight rooms:

"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.
"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 featuring 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 arose by 1913 and lasted until 1931. Membership in the Boston Camera Club declined and it is believed few regular meetings were held.[17] The club was kept alive by the financial and administrative efforts of Frank Roy Fraprie (FRAY-pree) (1874–1951), Phineas Hubbard (president 1908–1913 and possibly longer), Horace A. Latimer (1860–1931), and club founder John Thurston. It is believed that in 1924, the club relinquished its rooms at 50 Bromfield Street, and for some years it met at the Boston Young Men's Christian Union (YMCU).

In this period amateur photography in Boston seems to have been dominated by three organizations — the Boston Young Men's Christian Union Camera Club, a separate entity, extant from 1908 until at least the 1920s;[18] Boston Photo-Clan, extant by 1912 but apparently defunct by about 1921, in which noted Boston photographer John H. Garo was dominant and whose studio were its headquarters;[19] and the Boston Arts and Crafts Society.

Horace A. Latimer bequest, 1931[edit]

In 1931 a bequest by longtime club member Horace A. Latimer,[20] an independently wealthy amateur photographer of some renown,[21] reinvigorated the Boston Camera Club.[22] With the funds the club would 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, Back Bay, Boston with part of Horace Latimer's bequest. The club occupied three floors. There were a large and small exhibition gallery, darkroom, library and kitchen. Public exhibitions of photography resumed.

Membership in the club grew again, for example reaching 286 members in 1946.[23] For tax purposes, that year the club decided to sell its 351A building and remain in the building as a lessee.[24]

Club growth continued, reaching 555 in 1959 — 492 regular, 51 associate and 4 honorary members — a level 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 other manufacturers in the 1960s. During this era enthusiasts often sought out instruction in the use of their cameras by joining a camera club.

Brookline, Mass., 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, Mass. In 1997 it moved across town to its current location in Brookline.

In the 1980s and 1990s membership again declined dramatically, a trend attributable to camera automation — for example autofocus and programmed exposure, which reduced the need for user instruction — consumer video, and other social factors. Since 2000 membership has increased again to about 150 today, due in large part to the club's emphasis on digital photography.[25]

Exhibitions and salons[edit]

The exhibition history of the Boston Camera Club is long and complex. The club has hosted several species of photographic shows — exhibitions by its members, joint shows with other camera clubs, exhibitions by noted outside photographers and camera clubs, and annual salons — judged competitive exhibitions of photography open to the international public.

Early member exhibitions, 1880s–1910[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 triennial exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association.[26] In the club's seventh and tenth member exhibitions, in 1895 and 1898 respectively, member Emma D. Sewall received the top award.[27] In the 1898 show Sarah Jane Eddy, and painter and member of the Photo-Secession Sarah Choate Sears, were prominent.[28]

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.[29] The same year the club helped organize, and exhibited in, a photograph exhibition at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the 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.[30] The 1910 show is the last exhibition known to be held by the club until 1932, when the club launched its Boston Salon.

Joint Exhibition of Photography, 1887–1894[edit]

The first outside exhibitions in which the Boston Camera Club was involved were the Joint Exhibitions of Photography, sponsored jointly by the Boston Camera Club, Photographic Society of Philadelphia, and Society of Amateur Photographers of New York.[31] 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 (later 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, the club's only award winner; and William Garrison Reed.[32]

Starting 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."[33] After the seventh Joint Exhibition in 1894, the Boston Camera Club withdrew from the Joint Exhibitions, citing lack of manpower.

1900s salon[edit]

The Boston Camera Club has had two series of photography salons, or competitive exhibitions. The first series of salons were held in the first decade of the 20th century. At present only the second salon, held in 1906, has been identified.[34] These salons probably lasted only a few years.

Boston International Exhibition of Photography, 1932–1981[edit]

Thanks to Horace Latimer's bequest in 1931, the club revived. Accordingly in 1932 the club launched a new international competition, the Boston Salon of Photography, held almost annually for the better part of he next five decades.[35]

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 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.

Entries in Boston Camera Club competitions were heretofore limited to black-and-white prints. Starting in 1954 color slides were accepted in the Boston International Exhibition. From 1959 color prints were admitted as well. The 43rd and last exhibition, being color slides only, was held in 1981, the club's centenary year. In discontinuing the annual exhibition, again the club cited lack of manpower. Whereas earlier salons typically received some hundreds of entries each, the 1981 exhibition required a man-year of labor to process over 3,000 submissions.[36]

Noted entrants in the Boston International Exhibition included A. Aubrey Bodine who won the Fraprie medal in 1953, 1955 and 1959; Croatian photographer Tošo Dabac in 1937; Hong Kong-American photography prodigy, actor and director Ho Fan (Fan Ho) (b. 1937)[37] who first entered the exhibition in 1954 at age 17; 1940s pictorialist photographer Rowena Fruth (1896–1983); Wellington Lee who competed 1950–1981; and Mexican cinema director José Lorenzo Zakany Almada[38] who won the Boston Camera Club Medal in 1968. Noted judges included Cecil B. Atwater (1886–1981, club president 1942 to at least 1944), A. Aubrey Bodine (1906–1960), Leonard Craske, Eleanor Parke Custis, John W. Doscher (d. after 1971), Adolf Fassbender, noted etcher Arthur William Heintzleman (1891–1965),[39] Franklin I. Jordan, L. Whitney Standish, John H. Vondell (d. circa 1967), and Henry F. Weisenburger (b. 1924).

Guest exhibitors[edit]

From the late 19th to at least the mid-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), later founder of the Photo-Secession. Also in 1906, it exhibited 150 photographs by Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934).[40] In 1899 the club showed work by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864–1952).[41] The same year it exhibited the work of Clarence White (1871–1925), organized and hung by Fred Holland Day.[42] About this time the club exhibited work by Rudolph Dührkoop (1848–1918).[43] There were other exhibitions by lesser-known photographers.[44]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries U.S. camera clubs mounted exhibitions of each other's work. For example, in 1908 the Boston club exhibited works from the Buffalo (New York), Capitol (Washington DC), and Portland (Maine) Camera Clubs.[45]

In 1940 the Boston Camera Club exhibited the work of Edward Weston (1886–1958).[46] 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).

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 exhibition facilities. In 1934 the club purchased a permanent facility at 351A Newbury Street, which had a large gallery space. Public exhibitions of outsiders' work during this period were mentioned; members' shows in this period have not been identified. In 1980 the club relinquished 351A Newbury Street. By necessity all member shows since then have been held at outside venues in the Boston area.

Later public exhibitions by the Boston Camera Club were held at Boston City Hall, 1993; Griffin Museum of Photography, 1997;[47] Boston's Hynes Convention Center, 2004; arts centers;[48] and photographic firms and retail outlets in the Boston area.


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 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.[49][50] In 1895 member Owen A. Eames presented his Eames Animatoscope, an early motion picture device, although one source says, "It is unlikely that projection was attempted."[51] In 1897 Friedrich von Voigtländer, head of the Austrian optical firm firm of that surname, spoke to the club. In 1904 noted Boston photographer Fred Holland Day presented a paper for which he was well known, "Is Photography a Fine Art?"

There were many other lecturers in the club's early years.[52]

Records of guest speakers for much of the 20th century have not been studied. In the 1970s and 1980s the Boston Camera Club had presentations by Marie Cosindas and Minor White. There were day-long courses presented by John Sexton[53] in 1994, and Frans Lanting in 1997.

For 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.

Since the 1990s the Boston Camera Club has given courses and lectures on digital photography.

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."[54] 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. Then as now, the club has undertaken regular field trips.[55]

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."[56] 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 members prominent in photography. Because the club was founded before amateur photography was widespread, many early members were advanced practitioners. As more consumer-friendly photographic technologies were introduced in the late 19th and 20th centuries, the club came to comprise amateurs almost exclusively. Still, some had 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. It also bestows honorary membership for outstanding photographic achievement on outside professionals in the Boston area.

19th century[edit]

Photographically prominent members of the early Boston Camera Club included Emma J. Fitz,[57] Maine photographic pioneer Emma D. Sewall (1836–1919),[58] and painter Sarah Jane Eddy (1851–1945).[59]

Two collaborators of Alexander Graham Bell were honorary members of the club. One was the club's earliest known (1892) honorary member, Mass. Institute of Technology Prof. Charles "Charlie" Robert Cross (1848–1921).[60] 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 he achieved speeds of 1/2,000 second by 1890.[61]

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 lectures on art works.[62]

The Boston Camera Club counted two prominent astronomers among its members, Percival Lowell (1855–1916)[63] 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.[64]

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,[65] the journal of The Camera Club of New York. Latimer, the 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.[66]

20th and 21st centuries[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, Wilfred A. French, first secretary and treasurer of the club, 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.[67] Honorary member Franklin Ingalls "Pop" Jordan (1876–1956) was a photographic author and editor. 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.[68]

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, Mass. 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).[69][70]

Amateur photographer, photographic author and publisher, and honorary club member Arthur Hammond (1880–1962) won top prize from organizers of the 1939 New York World's Fair for his photo of the Fair's Trylon and Perisphere.[71] Architect and amateur photographer, honorary member L. Whitney "Whit" Standish (1919–?) was an influential member of the Boston Camera Club, as club president (1939–1942) being instrumental in organizing the club's weekly meetings, competitions, educational courses, and newsletter.

One of the most well-known figures in photography of the 20th century, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and Boston Camera Club honorary member Harold E. "Doc" Edgerton (1903–1990), who greatly advanced the photographic strobe,[72] 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,[73] and undersea explorations with Jacques Cousteau.[74]

Honorary member and photojournalist Arthur Griffin (1903–2001) was the best-known photographer of New England scenery in the mid-20th century.[75] H. Bradford Washburn, Jr. (1910–2007), honorary member, was a noted mountaineer, aerial photographer, and founder of the Boston Museum of Science.[76][77]

Aeronautical engineer Henry F. Weisenburger, honorary member and club president (1965–1967), an amateur photographer since the 1940s who joined the club in 1954, is arguably the longest-active exponent of amateur photography in New England, having instructed many in the field since the 1950s. In 1959, honorary member Leslie A. Campbell was founder of Massachusetts Camera Naturalists.

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).[78]


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).[79]

As professional photographers, Arthur Griffin and Lou Jones have belonged to the American Society of Media Photographers (Griffin charter member,[80] Jones board of directors).

Holdings of members' work[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.[81] The Library also holds the largest number of photographs of Fred Holland Day.[82]

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),[47] Emil Gruppé, L. Whitney Standish, H. Bradford Washburn, and others.[83]


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

The club's primary emphasis is on digital photography. Activities range from beginners to advanced and comprise education, print competitions and critique,[84] 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[85] 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)[79] and Photographic Society of America (PSA).[86]

Image gallery[edit]

Boston Camera Club publications and records[edit]

  • Boston Camera Club. Records. v. 1, 1881–1896. v. 2, 1897–1929, two paginations. v. 3, 1929–1942 (etc.) Boston Athenaeum. Boston MA.
  • Boston Camera Club. Notice of First Meeting. February 3, 1887.
  • Commonwealth of Mass. Religious, etc. Corporations / Certificate of Organization under Mass. Public Statutes, ch. 115, sec. 4, etc. February 25, 1887.
  • Third Annual Joint Exhibition of Photographs. Soc. of Amateur Photographers of New York, Photographic Soc. 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 Soc. of Philadelphia, Soc. of Amateur Photographers of New York, and BCC.) Harvard Univ. Fine Arts Library.
  • Sixth Annual Exhibition. Photographic Soc. of Philadelphia, Soc. of Amateur Photographers of New York, Boston Camera Club, Penn. Acad. 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). 1st issue. v. 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 world's first photograph—reasonably permanent, light-derived image made with a camera—was achieved privately in France in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833). See "The First Photograph.", Harry Ransom Center, Univ. of Texas, 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; 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: Univ. of Mass. 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. Polito, pp. 63, 167. 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 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, v. 2, n. 2, January 1899, p. 203.
  8. ^ Today Mass. Institute of Technology is located across the Charles River from Boston, in Cambridge, Mass.
  9. ^ Boston Camera Club. Notice of First Meeting, February 3, 1887.
  10. ^ Commonwealth of Mass. "Religious, etc. Corporations / Certificate of Organization" under Mass. Public Statutes, ch. 115, sec. 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. ^ As of 1920 the Boston YMCU Camera Club had 82 members. Photo-Era, v. 44, n. 4, April 1920, p. 214.
  19. ^ American Photography, v. 8, n. 12, December, 1914, p. 742, Google Books.
  20. ^ See "Who Is Horace A. Latimer?" on the Boston Camera Club's Web site.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ State of Maine. Last Will and Testament of Horace A. Latimer, October 19, 1931. Latimer bequeathed money to the Portland (Maine) Camera Club, founded in 1899, as well.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Boston Camera Club. Succession of 5-year leases, the earliest dated June 1, 1946.
  25. ^ The first discussion and vote by the club on whether to allow digital images in its competitions were held in June 1995.
  26. ^ Boston Camera Club exhibitors in the Mass. Charitable Mechanic Assn.'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. Mass. Charitable Mechanic Assn. Report of the Eighteenth Triennial Exhibition, Boston, 1893, pp. 175–181.
  27. ^ "Boston Camera Club," New York Times, April 14, 1895, p. 13.
  28. ^ W. Albert Hickman, "A Recent Exhibition: Tenth Annual Composition Exhibition, 1898. Boston Camera Club," Photo-Era, v. 1, n. 1, May 1898, pp. 11–13.
  29. ^ Fanning, p. 138.
  30. ^ Photo-Era, v. 25, n. 1, July 1910, pp. 48–49. Highlights from the show in: v. 25, n. 2, August 1910.
  31. ^ Subsumed in 1896 into The Camera Club of New York.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Alfred Stieglitz, "The Joint Exhibition at Philadelphia," The American Amateur Photographer, v. 5, 1893, p. 201.
  34. ^ "Second Salon of the Boston Camera Club," Boston Daily Globe, May 13, 1906, p. 41.
  35. ^ "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.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Fan Ho - IMDb.
  38. ^ José Lorenzo Zakany Almada - IMDb.
  39. ^ Keeper of Prints, Boston Public Library.
  40. ^ Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, 1890.
  41. ^ Photo Era, v. 2, n. 4, March 1899, p. 260.
  42. ^ Fanning, p. 149.
  43. ^ Rudolph Dührkoop,
  44. ^ 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, Mass., 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
  45. ^ Portland Camera Club.
  46. ^ American Photography. January 1941, p. 73.
  47. ^ a b Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Mass.
  48. ^ "Brookline Arts Center Welcomes the Boston Camera Club in a Member Showcase Exhibition," Brookline HUB, Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
  49. ^ 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. Mass. Historical Soc., Blake papers, v. 42. Published as: Francis Blake, Jr. "Photographic Shutters," American Amateur Photographer, February 1891, pp. 67–73.
  50. ^ Keith F. Davis, "The High-Speed Photographs of Francis Blake," The Massachusetts Historical Review, v. 2, 2000, pp. 1–26.
  51. ^ Eames was club treasurer 1894–1896.
  52. ^ Early lecturers at the club included Charles Currier of the Pacific Coast Amateur Photographic Assn. 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, v. 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.
  53. ^
  54. ^ Marsha Peters and Bernard Mergen, "Doing the Rest: The Uses of Photographs in American Studies," American Quarterl,. v. 29, n. 3, 1977, p. 281. Several prints, now owned by the Boston Public Library, can be seen at
  55. ^ 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, v. 55, n. 5, May 1920, pp. 232–233, 262. Polito, p. 31.
  56. ^ Hillyer.
  57. ^ "Miss Emma J. Fitz," Richard Hines, Jr., "Women and Photography," The American Amateur Photographer, v. 11, n. 3, March 1899, pp. 122–123.
  58. ^ Abbie Sewall. Message through Time: The Photographs of Emma D. Sewall, 1836–1919. Gardiner, ME: Harpwell Press, 1989.
  59. ^ "Miss Sarah J. Eddy," Hines, pp. 121–122. Eddy was a friend of Susan B. Anthony; she painted portraits of her (1901 or 1902) as well as Frederick Douglass.
  60. ^ Charles R. Cross is believed to have taught the first electrical engineering course in the United States, at Mass. Institute of Technology in 1882–1883.
  61. ^ See a portrait of, and a photograph by, Francis Blake in: Polito, facing p. 497. See also "The Francis Blake Laboratory Collection". Techantiques. 
  62. ^ "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.
  63. ^ Clark's Boston Blue Book, 1895.
  64. ^ Member was the lowest of three ranks of Photo-Secession membership, beneath Associate and Fellow. See also Photo-Era. v. 2, n. 4, March 1899. pp. 260–261.
  65. ^ 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 of the October 1902 issue.
  66. ^ 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, v. 1, n. 6, December 1889, pp. 256–257. See also Fanning, p. 157; Polito, p. 397.
  67. ^ Head of American Photographic Publishing Co., Frank Roy Fraprie was editor of the annuals The American Amateur Photographer and American Annual of Photography.
  68. ^ Christian A. Peterson [et al.?], The Pictorial Artistry of Adolf Fassbender. [Intl. Photography Hall of Fame and Museum?], 1994.
  69. ^ Jack Wright. "PSA Personalities: Eleanor Parke Custis, FPSA." Journal of the Photographic Soc. of America, v. 11, n. 10, December 1945, pp. 549–550.
  70. ^ Eleanor Parke Custis, 1897–1983: Retrospective Exhibition, May 24 – June 21, 1986. Cambridge, MA: James R. Bakker Antiques, circa 1986.
  71. ^ Arthur Hammond, "Semi-Lunar," silver gelatin print, collection Boston Camera Club.
  72. ^ 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.
  73. ^ EG&G, the 'E' in whose name denotes 'E'dgerton, is now URS Federal Services.
  74. ^ "Harold E. Edgerton". GHN: IEEE Global History Network. 
  75. ^ 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 color photograph books on New England in collaboration with well-known authors; and in 1992 opened his Boston-area Griffin Museum of Photography.
  76. ^ 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.
  77. ^ Katharine Wroth, "High Art: The Astonishing Life & Work of Brad Washburn," Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoors (AMC Outdoors), March 2004, pp. 26–33.
  78. ^ "Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, Lou Jones, March 30, 2003 - June 19, 2003". The Museum of NCAAA, The Natl. Center of Afro-American Artists.  See also
  79. ^ a b New England Camera Club Council (NECCC).
  80. ^ Peter Skinner, "A Legend's Legacy: Arthur Griffin Gives $10,000 to ASMP Foundation," American Soc. of Media Photographers Bulletin (ASMP Bulletin), November 2000, pp. 6–7.
  81. ^, LC Control No. (LCCN) 2004-681335.
  82. ^ The Library of Congress has 697 catalog entries on Fred Holland Day, most of them individual photographs.
  83. ^ 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.
  84. ^ 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.
  85. ^ Boston Camera Club.
  86. ^ 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, v. 4, n. 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, v. 25, n. 2, August 1910, pp. 64–71, 94–95.
  • "Mr. Latimer Expresses His Views Somewhat at Length," Pictorial Photography in America, 1921, Pictorial Photographers Assn., 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," n. 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, v. 44, n. 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, n. 14: Boston Camera Club Centennial," Photographic Society of America Journal (PSA Journal), v. 47, n. 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