Every Photo is a story: the photos of Frances Benjamin Johnston

Self_portrait_by_the_American_photographer_Frances_Benjamin_Johnston
Frances Benjamin Johnston, a self portrait.

I recently got five links from the Library of Congress for the series Every Photo is a story. In this series Kristi Finefield, reference librarian in the Prints and Photographs Division, and Sam Watters, architectural and landscape historian, take a look at the photos made Frances Benjamin Johnston,  (1864–1952), one of the first female photo-journalist who rose to prominence. She was an expert at making hand-painted photographs. She was a champion of the City Beautiful Movement to restore beauty to an industrial America through garden design and was very well connected. Such beautification could thus promote a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life.
These two go together as she had her photographer ‘improved’ to the wishes of the customers by having them painted. Even then reality sometimes needed to be improved upon.  How this worked and why this was done will be told during the series.

Watters has worked with the library of congress to examine no less that 1100 of Frances Benjamin Johnston’s photos, which she donated to the Library of Congress.
Library of Congess: Every story is a Photo:
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/results.php?mode=s&cat=69

800px-Frances_Benjamin_Johnston,_full-length_portrait,_seated_in_front_of_fireplace,_1896
Frances Benjamin Johnston, full-length portrait, seated in front of fireplace, 1896

Part 1: Start to Read a Photograph
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6730

Part 2: Get to Know the Photographer
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6731

Part 3: Consider How the Photos Were Made
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6732

Part 4: Interpret Stories You Discover
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6733

Part 5: Explore the Photographer’s Era
http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=6734

washington-morse-garden-gate-660
charles-marshall-townhouse-660arcady-330

For fun, I made my own look alike picture.. It is made using second life.

benjaminjohnston

More links

Frances Benjamin Johnston
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Benjamin_Johnston

Sam Watters’ book.
http://www.traditional-building.com/Previous-Issues-12/AugustBR12Gardens.html
http://www.designersandbooks.com/blog/author-qa-sam-watters-gardens-beautiful-america

City Beautiful movement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Beautiful_movement

Library of congress
https://www.loc.gov/

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s