BABBITT, PLATT D. (1823–1879)
Equal parts artist and entrepreneur, Platt Babbitt made memorable photographs in a frontier region of young America. For several years, he worked a commanding vantage, selling to tourists daguerreotypes he made of them as they experienced brink of Niagara Falls. Information about Babbitt—and a good bit of his legendary appeal—was influenced by accounts writ- ten more than 30 years after the facts by John Werge, a traveling photographer and teacher from Scotland, who sold accoutrements for the early photographic processes and later wrote about his exploits in a book copiously entitled, The Evolution of Photography with a Chronological Record of Discoveries, Inventions, Etc., Contributions to Photographic Literature and Personal Reminiscences Extending over Forty Years. Werge may have overstated Babbitt’s “monopoly” over photographs of the Falls, where he was said to have taken daguerrean exposures of visitors “without their knowledge,” but he was fully accurate in identifying Babbitt as a “speciman of American character.”
Born and raised in Lanesboro, Massachusetts in a Berkshire farming family, Babbitt caught the national impulse for westward migration, and followed the Mo- hawk Trail toward the great Niagara, the giant cascade that had captured the imagination of a young American republic with its power and subliminity. The Erie Canal, which paralleled the age-old byway of native people, had opened in 1825, facilitating travel and tourism, and Niagara Falls was a commanding destination. The small village at the Falls became a far larger, as all sorts of cash opportunities opened along the banks of the Niagara. Vendors hawked access to special points of view from which to consider the Falls, guidebooks, and trinkets, including daguerreotype likenesses, displayed
in cases and in jewelry. Platt Babbitt’s name first appear in Niagara regional press advertisements in 1850, first on the Canadian side, in partnership with photographer and concessionaire Saul Davis, who was known for his aggressive sales tactics, and later, by 1853, on the American side, sometimes in partnership with a store owners, such as with Thomas Tugby, owner of Tugby’s Mammoth Bazaar, located several hundred feet from the location that Babbitt used to make his images.
By 1853, Babbitt had leased property to create a pa- goda to hold his camera set up, established with a view toward the lip of the American Falls. It was a dramatic site, where visitors could feel the huge roar of the falls and enjoy the gentle mist that filled the air. Babbitt set up his daguerreotype apparatus such that it also allowed exposure of scenic Goat Island, Terrapin Tower and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls in the background, along with the likeness of tourists in the near ground, standing on the rocks at the edge of the river. Babbitt then is among the first to make a photograph to enhance a tourist’s experience, and he is among the first to work the taking of photographs within the landscape.
The likelihood that tourists were unaware that Babbitt was exposing a daguerreotype plate of them is remote, however, given the prominence of Babbitt’s pagoda and the advertising of his studio, located in the second floor of the building that provided entrance to an incline car, also at Prospect Point. The incline elevator permitted passage down the precipice to the ferry at the base of the falls. All of this attention should have attacted even the most awe-filled visitor, who would unlikely maintain the pose and stillness that Babbitt’s images evidence. Indeed, Babbitt was an intrepid business man, using every device to attract business, shifting into different media as it was called for by the advances of the pe- riod. He also was a skilled image-maker; his full plate daguerreotypes (61⁄2 × 81⁄2 inches) are uniformly well exposed, with remarkable depth of field and tonal range. His compositions of the various sites from which to view the Falls display creative points of view and framing. Thus, it seems particularly unlikely that he would leave the arrangement of his visitors at Prospect Point, and the expense of his exposures, to chance.
Babbitt was a versatile photographer, a man who seized opportunity to make a saleable image. His work as a documentarian—as an early photojournalist, even —rarely receives notice today. But in 1853, Babbitt created one of the most gripping of any early photo- graphs. In that year, a man named Joseph Avery was boating above the Falls with a friend, when their boat was overtaken by the current, and capsized. Avery clung to a log that had lodged against a rock in the rapids. His friend was swept over the brink to his death. It was a bright day, and Babbitt had the time to move his camera to water’s edge, where he made an image of the helpless Avery clinging to the log in the water, moments before his death. Attempts to save the man failed, and he, too, was carried across the brink. Niagara was a place for disasters, and for daredevils, and during his career, Babbitt documented these events, as well as those who came to visit.
Babbitt was not the first to document the Falls and its visitors. M.H.L. Pattinson, an English daguerreotypist who documented Niagara in 1841 for Noel Marie Pay- mal Lerebours, publisher of Excursions Daguerriennes vues et monuments les plus remarqualles du globe, was the first, followed by several others in the 1840s, no- tably including Frederick and William Langenheim of Philadelphia. But Babbitt was the first resident photog- rapher on the American side, and he knew the Falls in its changing, annual faces, most spectacularly in the winter, when few tourists braved the challenging Western New York weather. His views all along the banks of the river, and his views from the base of the falls and the Cave of the Winds behind the falls, are spectacular, technically skilled and artfully handled, at first as daguerreotypes in full, half and quarter plates, later in dagurrean stereo views and glass plate colloidon stereo, window trans- parencies, and paper stereo prints.
Babbitt led a hard-scramble life in what amounted to a frontier town. His photography attracted attention through the 1850s, but late in that decade, the public record shows, his work became more of a struggle. He felt called on to defend his territory on Prospect Point from encroachment by other photographers, and he would disrupt their exposures with men waving open umbrellas in front of their cameras. And he fought with his landlord in a public brawl that attracted newspaper attention. During the 1860s, he dropped away from public view.
In 1873, a story in the local paper announces his re- turn from “several years of retirement,” with an offering
a new glass transparency views of Niagara. And then in 1879, another story in the local press, reports his suicide, after a period of poor health, suffering from weakness and fainting spells. His death is marked by irony, for a man as skilled as he in negotiating the dangerous shores of Niagara, was found with a rock tied around his neck, face down in a creek of three-feet of water in a small town south of Buffalo.
Chiefly remembered for his setup exposures of tourists at the edge of the Falls, Babbitt is represented principally by this image in most museum collections and histories of photography. His work as a landscape photographer and documentarian is equally fine, and increasing attention has been given to this work, notably in Frank Henry Goodyear’s Constructing a National Landscape: Photography and Tourism in Nineteenth Century America, a dissertation for doctor of philoso- phy at the University of Texas at Austin, 1998, and the author’s The Taking of Niagara: A History of the Falls in Photography, 1982, Media Study/Buffalo.
BACOT, EDMOND (1814–1875)
A painting student of Paul Delaroche, Edmond Auguste Alfred Bacot took up daguerreotypye by 1846 (although no examples survive) and paper photography by 1850. His largest and most impressive photographs, made with glass negatives between 1852 and 1854, depict historic monuments in his hometown, Caen, and in Rouen, Bayeux, and other sites in Normandy. With their focus on Gothic architecture and deep swaths of shadow, photographs such as Saint Maclou, Rouen rival the work of Bacot’s Parisian counterparts and evoke the romantic spirit of Victor Hugo’s writings and drawings. A Republican sympathizer and supporter, Bacot visited Hugo in exile on nearby Jersey in December 1852 and provided photographic instruction to his son Charles Hugo in Caen in March 1853. An album of 28 lavishly presented photographs by Bacot (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) likely consists of the prints sent to Hugo and much admired by the writer and his son. Six architectural photographs also appear in an album as- sembled by Bacot’s fellow Norman gentleman-amateur, Louis Alphonse de Bisson (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). More widely distributed were Bacot’s formal portraits of Victor Hugo taken in 1862, on which occasion Bacot also executed a series of stereoscopic views of the exiled writer’s Guernsey residence, Hauteville House.
Bacot, Edmond. Saint-Maclou, Rouen.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1995 (1995.96.10) Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
BAKER AND CO, F. W.
A prolific commercial photographer in Northern India from the mid-1850s until the end of the 1860s, Baker appears to have arrived in Calcutta in around 1855, as an employee of the millinery firm of Appleton and Co. He was also, however, concurrently managing the daguerreotype studio of James William Newland and in August 1857, on his return from a photographic tour of the North West Provinces, he established his own busi- ness in Calcutta under the title of Baker’s Daguerrean Rooms. The studio flourished throughout the 1860s, in due course changing its name to the Calcutta Photo- graphic Company. While Baker produced the standard commercial fare of portraits and topographical views for the European market, the studio’s most historically significant work remains its extensive documentation of the devastating cyclone which struck Calcutta in 1864. Baker appears to have abandoned photography completely in 1869, when his negative stock was sold to the firm of Saché and Westfield, returning to his early trade as a milliner in the partnership of Baker and Catliff. Between 1887 and 1896 he was resident in Rangoon and although his date of death or departure from India has not been established, he appears to have still been living in Calcutta as late as 1908.
BALDI, GREGOR (1814–1878) AND
WÜRTHLE, KARL FRIEDRICH (1820–
Born in Telve, South-Tirol, Austria, Gregor Baldi started work as an arts and crafts dealer in his broth- ers shop in Linz, Upper-Austria at the age of 15. From c. 1842–1861 he had his own successful art-shop in Salzburg. He edited nine albums with steel-engravings of topographic studies, some made by Karl Friedrich Würthle, born Konstanz, Germany.
In January 1862 they established Baldi & Würthle in a purpose-built studio in Riedenburg Nr. 17, a suburb of Salzburg.
In 1866 the studio was moved to Schwarzstraße near the theatre. They made studio-portraits and groups in albumen and later gelatine. But the most numerous subjects were hundreds of location photographs of Salzburg-town and landscape and mountain-photos of country areas in Salzburg and his neighbourhood, now housed in the Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum. These photos were produced in a range of sizes from carte-de-visite to 370 × 570 mm, and, from 1866, pan- oramas (230 × 530 mm).
From 1874 they operated separate studios, with Würthle moving to Schwarzstraße 11. From 1875 to 1880 Würthle alone was the owner of the studio of which the name remained ‘Baldi & Würthle.’ From 1881 to 1892 the atelier ‘Würthle & Spinnhirn’ belonged to Würthle and his brother-in-law Hermann Spinnhirn, a chemist.
From 1892 to 1904 the studio name was ‘Würthle & Son,’ out of which they photographed and published images.
‘Baldi & Würthle’ and their successors were the first fully professional, important and well known photogra- phers in the capital town of Salzburg and other western countries of the Austrian empire and remained so until about 1900.
BALDUS, ÉDOUARD (1813–1889)
Édouard Baldus arrived in Paris to study painting in 1838 at the age of twenty-five, shortly before the first public announcement of photography’s invention. He was a native of the small German town of Grünebach, forty-five miles east of Cologne, and, according to some reports, had first embarked on a career as an artillery officer in the Prussian army before becoming a painter in the early 1830s. He is said to have exhibited his paint- ings with some success in Antwerp and to have traveled throughout America as an itinerant portrait painter, but neither statement can be confirmed by surviving evidence. In Paris, Baldus worked outside the École des Beaux-Arts and atelier system; he submitted work to each of the annual salons from 1841 to 1851 but achieved little success and received no critical mention as a painter. In the decade that followed, Baldus aban- doned the easel and took up the camera, rose to the top of his new profession, won international critical acclaim, secured commissions from governmental ministries and captains of industry, and created photographs now considered masterpieces of art.
Baldus first experimented with photography in the late 1840s, although no surviving prints can be definitively dated prior to 1851, the year in which he, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, Hippolyte Bayard, and O. Mestral were awarded missions héliographiques, photographic surveys of the nation’s architectural patri- mony carried out at the behest of the Commission des Monuments Historiques, a government agency. Baldus’s mission took him to Fontainebleau, through Burgundy, the Dauphiné, Lyonnais, Provence, and a small section of Languedoc. According to an account published the following year (Baldus, Édouard, Concours de Pho- tographie, Paris: Victor Masson, 1852), Baldus utilized his own variation of the paper negative process, which included a layer of gelatin to provide a smoother surface and finer rendition of detail. Although prints from the mission héliographique are rare, the majority of nega- tives from this campaign survive in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Extant prints and negatives show that Baldus occasionally overcame the limitations of scale, depth of field, and varying light conditions by piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of individual negatives to form a single large composition.
So impressive were Baldus mission pictures for their clarity, beauty, and size that he quickly won government support for a project entitled Villes de France Pho- tographées, a series of architectural views of Paris and provincial cities that fed a resurgent interest in France’s Roman and medieval past. After photographing the chief monuments of the capital in 1852, Baldus returned to the south of France in the autumn of 1853, accompanied by a student, Wilhelm von Herford (German, 1814–1866) and an assistant. There he photographed, for the Villes de France series and for his stock, many of the same monuments he had recorded in 1851 on negatives that he had subsequently been obliged to turn over to the government. His large-format (35 × 45 cm) negatives of 1853, however, show the Roman theater and triumphal arch at Orange, the church of St. Trophîme at Arles, the Tour Magne and Maison Carrée at Nîmes, and other monuments of Provence with an unprecedented direct- ness that would establish the standard for architectural photography. Gone were the picturesque elements, fig- ures, and anecdotal details present in his earlier photo- graphs and traditionally considered necessary to animate topographic prints of the period.
The following summer Baldus coursed the dirt roads of the countryside by horse-drawn cart in the company of Fortuné-Joseph Petiot-Groffier (French, 1788–1855), moving from ruined castle to thatched hut, from pilgrimage church to paper mill, from town square to wooded chasm, through the fertile lowlands and rug- ged mountains of the Auvergne, in central France. In a departure from his earlier work, perhaps owing to the different physical character of this region, Baldus pho- tographed not only medieval pilgrimage churches such as Brioude and Issoire, but also vernacular architecture and unpopulated landscape, adding a poetic force to the graphic power and documentary value of his earlier photographs.
By 1855, Baldus had established a reputation as the leading architectural photographer in France, and his pictures drew much public attention and critical notice at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris. In August of that year Baron James de Rothschild—banker, indus- trialist, and president of the Northern Railway—com- missioned Baldus to produce an album showing views along the rail route from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer. The lavish album, presented to Queen Victoria as a souvenir of her passage on the line during her state visit to Paris and still housed in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, contains 50 beautifully composed and richly printed photographs of cathedrals, towns, rail- road installations, and ports that are among Baldus’s finest images.
Also in 1855, Baldus began photographing on the worksite of the New Louvre, documenting for the architect Hector Lefuel every piece of statuary and ornamentation made for the vast complex linking the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. As individual records these photographs served a practical function on the bustling worksite, keeping track of the many hundreds of plaster models and carved stones sculpted for the project. As a collected whole, however, they formed a new means of comprehending and communicating a complex subject, bit by bit, to be reconstituted by the mind. Only photography—precise, omnivorous, prolific, and rapid—and then only in the hands of an artist both sensitive and rigorous, could produce an archive as a new form of art. Of the several thousand images made at the Louvre during the period 1855–57, however, it is the large-format photographs of the principal pavilions that are his most carefully crafted and clearly articulated demonstrations of photography’s unparalleled capacity to represent architecture, fully exploiting the medium’s ability to render the play of light, the volume of archi- tectural forms, and the most intricate details. Baldus’s photographs of the New Louvre were assembled in albums (four volumes in each set) and presented by the emperor to government ministers, the imperial family, and the reigning monarchs of Europe as New Year’s gifts in 1858.
In June 1856, in the midst of his work at the Louvre, Baldus set out on a brief assignment, equally without precedent in photography, that was in many ways its opposite: to photograph the destruction caused by tor- rential rains and overflowing rivers in Lyon, Avignon, and Tarascon. From a world of magnificent man-made construction, he set out for territory devastated by natu- ral disaster; from the task of recreating the whole of a building in a catalogue of its thousand parts, he turned to the challenge of evoking a thousand individual stories in a handful of transcendent images. Baldus created, in the words of Ernest Lacan, a “painfully eloquent” record of the flood without explicitly depicting the human suffering left in its wake. The “poor people, tears in their eyes, scavenging to find the objects most indispensable to their daily needs,” described by the local Courier de Lyon, are all but absent from his pho- tographs of the hard-hit Brotteaux quarter of Lyon, as if the destruction had been of biblical proportion, leav- ing behind only remnants of a destroyed civilization. In Avignon Baldus stood on the cathedral terrace from which, a few days earlier, Napoleon III had surveyed the floods, and pivoted his camera to compose a sweeping six-part panorama that encompasses the entire Rhône valley—the inundated island of Barthelasse, the town of Villeneuve-les-Avignon, and the river, slowly returning to the confines of its banks.
In the late 1850s, Baldus expanded his highly suc- cessful series of large-format views of historic monu- ments in both Paris and the provinces, and around 1860 he photographed the rough alpine regions of southeast- ern France. At the height of his success, he employed a dozen assistants and sold his work through a dozen merchants in Paris and through print and book dealers in Nîmes, Hamburg, Florence, Venice, Turin, Milan, Vienna, and London.
In the second of his two railway albums, commis- sioned in July 1861 by the Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (PLM), Baldus again pioneered new aesthetic ground and drew from a decade’s work to speak forcefully and eloquently about the relationship of history and progress. The album is a masterfully composed sequence of sixty-nine photographs of the landscape, towns, principal sites of interest, and railroad structures along the line from Lyon to Marseilles and Toulon. By interspersing boldly geometric images of the railroad tracks, stations, tunnels, and viaducts with his classic views of historic architecture—the ramparts of Avignon, the Maison Carrée, Saint-Trophîme, the Pont du Gard—Baldus presented Second Empire engineers as the natural heirs to a great tradition of building that stretched back to Roman and medieval times. The final section of the album presents the natural beauty of the Côte d’Azur, including the majestic rock formations at La Ciotat. The concluding pair of images—the barren, rocky Ollioules Gorge and the iron and glass railroad station of Toulon—restates the album’s central theme of progress, contrasting wilderness and civilization, nature and man. A dozen examples of the PLM album are cur- rently known (three in an abridged form).
While the PLM album is a triumphal climax to the most fruitful period of Baldus’s artistic career, more than half his professional life still lay ahead. During the next two decades, he increasingly shifted his energy from the production of ambitious and carefully crafted works of photographic art to the commercial and industrial applications of the medium. In part, personal factors account for this shift. In the years following the death of Baldus’s wife Élisabeth in March 1858, her mother probably helped care for the couple’s children; after his mother-in-law’s death in April 1862, the responsibili- ties of fatherhood may have kept Baldus closer to home and his three teenage children, and prompted him to focus on Parisian views and on the publication of his work in gravure form. By 1869, when his daughters were married and his son had reached majority, Baldus was approaching sixty, and the labor and hardship that characterized the extended photographic excursions of his younger days may have seemed less appealing, less necessary, or less possible. External factors, however, were also at work: social and economic forces increas- ingly pushed photography toward ever-cheaper and more widely distributed images. In the early 1850s, few outside scientific, artistic, and aristocratic circles collected photographs, but by 1860 the carte-de-visite portrait and the stereo card, produced by the thousands and available at extremely low cost, had brought pho- tography into the homes of a much broader public. It was surely in an attempt to market his work to the sou- venir-seeking tourist and public that Baldus produced a series of 95 small-format views of Paris (approximately 20 × 30 cm) in the early-1860s, and even tried his hand at stereographic photography. In contrast to his large- format work of the previous decade, his smaller, glass- negative photographs of Paris and the provinces appear indifferently composed and printed.
Beginning in the mid-1860s and lasting until the early 1880s—in other words, for more than half his career as a photographer—Baldus’s primary commercial activity centered on the production of photogravures, a process that he had first explored as early as 1854. Baldus’s photogravure process (or “héliogravure,” as he called it) triumphed equally as a photographic method of producing facsimile gravures and as a gra- vure method of printing photographic images. His first
major publications in gravure form, issued from 1866 to 1869, all reproduced ornamental engravings by past masters—Heinrich Aldegrever, Hans Sebald Beham, Jacques Androuet Ducerceau, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein, and Marcantonio Raimondi.
Baldus first published his own photographs in photogravure form in a three-volume publication on the architecture and ornamentation of the Louvre and Tuileries palaces that parallels his earlier photographic albums. Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries: Motifs de Décorations... must have seemed ironically timely, for while it was still being issued the Tuileries Palace and parts of the Louvre were burned down in the destruction of the 1871 Commune. Although he did not reveal the details of his process, nor enter the Duc de Luynes’s competition, Baldus achieved results in photogravure that were unrivaled in their detail, smoothness of grada- tion, and richness.
Encouraged by the success of his volumes on the Louvre, he published a portfolio of one hundred photogravures reproducing elements of interior and exterior decoration of the Château de Versailles and of the Grand and Petit Trianons—garden vases, statuary, fountains, paneling, moldings, consoles, tables, and so forth, as well as six exterior architectural views. With his photogravure publication Principaux Monuments de la France in the early 1870s, Baldus came full circle, issuing in gravure form a series of architectural photo- graphs much like his Villes de France photographiées of the early 1850s, and, in a few cases, utilizing the same negatives. Baldus’s last known photographic activity was a publication in the same vein as his Louvre and Versailles volumes—a collection of one hundred photo- gravures of the architectural and sculptural decoration of the new Hôtel de Ville of Paris, built from 1882 to 1884 to replace the building burned down by the Commune a decade earlier.
Baldus’s extensive publishing activity did not nec- essarily signal financial success. Perhaps having over- extended himself in the production of Hôtel de Ville or perhaps the victim of other circumstances, Baldus transferred to his son-in-law more than seven hundred copper printing plates for the Louvre, Versailles, Hôtel de Ville, and Ducerceau gravures, and thousands of unsold prints from those publications as collateral for a small loan in October 1885, probably to protect the means of his livelihood from creditors; only fifteen months later, in January 1887, he filed for bankruptcy. Édouard Baldus died December 22, 1889, in Arcueil- Cachan, a suburb south of Paris.
The first major exhibition devoted to the photograph of Baldus was presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, and the Musée national des monuments fran- çais, Paris, in 1994 and 1995. Although photographs by Baldus—especially the small-format albumen prints of the 1860s—are rela- tively common, richly printed, well preserved salted paper prints of his best work of the 1850s are indeed rare. Newly discovered prints—some of previously unknown images—have appeared steadily throughout the late 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s as the market for nineteenth- century photographs has matured. An important cache of exceptionally beautiful, unmounted salted paper prints from the mid-1850s was discovered in 1988-89 by the descendents of Léon Bourquelot, Baldus’s contact in the office of the Architect of the Louvre.
The Musée d’Orsay, Paris, holds the most important collection of Baldus photographs including the negatives from his mission héliographique and 1856 flood series as well as many fine salted paper prints of his work from the 1850s. Other significant Baldus holdings in public institutions include: Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Paris, notably for mission héliographique prints; École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, both of which collected Baldus’s work in the nineteenth century for their students’ edifi- cation; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, including two copies of the PLM album; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York.
The second of eight children and the eldest son of Johann Peter Baldus and Elisabeth Weber, Eduard was born in Grünebach, Prussia, on June 5, 1813. Little is known about the first twenty-five years of his life. He moved to Paris in 1838 to study painting and changed the spelling of his name to “Édouard” (he has often been referred to erroneously as “Édouard-Denis”). In September 1845 he married a French woman ten years his junior, Élisabeth-Caroline Étienne, and within four years was the father of two daughters and a son. He was naturalized a French citizen in June 1856 and was awarded the Legion d’honneur in August 1860.
Baldus began photographing in 1848, and was a founding member of the Société héliographique in 1851, the year in which he received a mission héliographique to photograph historic monuments, principally in Provence. The following year he began a critically acclaimed and commercially successful series of large-format photographs that continued for more than a decade; his principal subjects included architectural monuments of Paris and the French provinces, particu- larly Provence (1852–61); landscapes of the Auvergne (1854) and southeastern France (1860–61); railroad
and civil engineering works, particularly along the routes of the Northern and Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée lines (1855–62); the construction of the New Louvre (1855–58); and the Rhône River floods (1856). From 1866 to 1884 the majority of his efforts were devoted to the publication of photogravures. He filed for bank- ruptcy in January 1887 and died December 22, 1889, in Arcueil-Cachan, a suburb south of Paris, where he is buried in the local cemetery.
Baldus’s work was sold by at least two dozen book and/or print sellers in Paris and throughout Europe. He participated in many exhibitions, including the follow- ing: Photographic Society of London, 1854; Tentoon- stelling van Photographie en Heliographie gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam, 1855; Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1855; 1st Annual Exhi- bition of the Photographic Society of Scotland, Edin- burgh, 1856; Photographic Society of London, 1856; Manchester Photographic Society, Exhibition of Photo- graphs at the Mechanics’ Institution, 1856; Exposition Instituté par l’Association pour l’Encouragement et le Développement des Arts Industriels en Belgique, Brus- sells, 1856; Deuxième Exposition Annuelle, Société Française de Photographie, 1857; Exposition Instituté par l’Association pour l’Encouragement et le Dével- oppement des Arts Industriels en Belgique, Brussells, 1857; Architectural Photographic Association, London, 1858; Photographic Society of London, Fifth Year, 1858; Architectural Photographic Association, Second Annual Exhibition, London, 1858–59; Troisième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie, 1859; Exhibition of photographs, Aberdeen, 1859; Architectural Photo- graphic Association, Third Annual Exhibition, London, 1860; Exposition Photographique d’Amsterdam, 1860; Architectural Photographic Association, Fourth An- nual Exhibition of English and Foreign Photographs, London, 1861; Quatrième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie, 1861; Exposition de la Société Photographique de Marseille, 1861; Universal Exhibition, London, 1862; Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1867; Huitième Exposition de la Société Fran- çaise de Photographie, 1869; Exposition de la Société Photographique de Marseille, 1871; Welt-Ausstellung, Vienna, 1873; Dixième Exposition de la Société Fran- çaise de Photographie, 1874.
Baldus’s publications included: Concours de Pho- tographie (1852); Vitraux de l’Église Sainte-Clotilde (1853); Réunion des Tuileries au Louvre (1857); Re- cueil d’Ornements (1866); Oeuvre de Marc-Antoine Raimondi (1867); Oeuvre de Jacques Androuet dit Du Cerceau (ca. 1969); Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries (1869–71); Palais de Versailles (early 1870s); Les Principaux Monuments de la France (early 1870s); Reconstruction de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris (1884).
BALL, JAMES PRESLEY (1825–1905)
One of the country’s first African American photographers, James Presley Ball learned his craft in 1844–5 from fellow African American John B Bailey, before opening his first studio in Cincinnati in 1845.
Ball was born in Virginia, a free man, and went on to become a significant figure in both photography and the abolitionist movement in America.
A brief move to Richmond, Virginia, in 1846 brought some success and, but he was back in Cincinnati from 1847 and “Ball’s Great Daguerrean Gallery of the West” was established at 28 West 4th Street. With his brother Thomas running the studio, Ball became an itinerant photographer for a period travelling in both America and Europe. Alexander Thomas joined him in Cincinnati from 1852, becoming his partner before 1859, and by 1854 he was recorded as employing nine people.
With his studio established and his reputation and wealth growing, Ball turned his attention to the plight of slaves, publishing a pamphlet on the subject in 1855, and mounting panoramic exhibitions in his gallery to highlight the evils of slavery.
A tornado destroyed the gallery in May 1860, but it was rebuilt, and his partnership with Thomas continued the 1870s, by which time his son, James Presley Ball Jr. also a photographer, had been taken into partnership with him as well.
The studio moved to Minneapolis and St Paul (mid 1870s) and Helena, Montanta (1887), and eventually Se- attle (1900) followed—where he operated as the Globe Photographic Studio, and where he died in 1905.