Young America. The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. George Eastman House International Center of Photography
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YOUNG AMERICA
BIOGRAPHIES
FAMILY
STUDIO
PUBLIC PORTRAITURE
PORTRAIT ART
COLORING
POSTMORTEM PORTRAITURE
THE DEATH OF PAIN
THE PARLOR STEREOSCOPE
DAGUERREOTYPE PROCESS
PERMANENCE
PRESENTATION NOTE
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BIOGRAPHIES

ALBERT S. SOUTHWORTH

photo of Albert S. Southworth
Albert Sands Southworth,
ca. 1848. George Eastman
House.

Albert S. Southworth was born in 1811 in West Farliegh, Vermont. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover and established himself in the pharmacy trade in Cabotville, now Chicopee, Massachusetts. He learned of the daguerreotype at the age of twenty-eight in 1839 through a former classmate, Joseph Pennel, who invited him to New York to learn the process from Samuel F.B. Morse. By May of 1840 he had entered into partnership with Pennel and reported, ”I can now make perfect pictures in one hours time… that would take a painter weeks to draw.”

Through vigorous experimentation, Southworth and Pennel worked to perfect the daguerreotype process for portraiture. In the spring of 1841 they moved from Cabotville to establish a studio in Boston's Scollay Square with intentions of becoming society portraitists. Success led Southworth to move into larger loft rooms in the nearby, newly built Tremont Row in 1843. Pennel left the partnership at that time and was replaced by Josiah Hawes. They worked together in the rooms at 51/2 Tremont Row for twenty years, with the exception of two years from 1849 to 1851, during which Southworth participated in the California Gold Rush.

Southworth left the partnership in 1863 and became a specialist in graphology, employing photography in forensics. He remained an active figure in the photographic community and gave a number of talks in the 1870s at the National Photographic Association. He died in 1894.

 

JOSIAH JOHNSON HAWES

photo of Josiah Johnson Hawes
Josiah Johnson Hawes,
ca. 1850. George Eastman
House.

Josiah Johnson Hawes was born on a farm in East Sudbury, now Wayland, Massachusetts in 1808. At seventeen he was apprenticed to a carpenter and practiced the trade for six years, which he gave up to be an artist. “I purchased books, colors and brushes and commenced the study of art…I practiced miniature painting on ivory, likewise portraits in oil, landscapes, etc. with no teacher but my books.” In 1841, after seeing a daguerreotype for the first time, he reported that it “…changed my course entirely…I gave up painting and commenced daguerreotyping.” Hawes studied the process with Daguerre’s student and agent Francis Fauvel Gouraud in Boston.

In 1843 he joined partnership with Albert Southworth in the newly established studio in Boston. He married Nancy Stiles Southworth, Albert’s sister, who worked in the studio, in 1849. During Southworth’s time in California he maintained the studio with the help of Nancy and Asa Southworth, a brother.

After the dissolution of the partnership in 1863 he remained in business in the old rooms, making portraits and views of Boston and the vicinity until his death in 1901. His three children with Nancy (Alice, Marion and Edward) preserved the legacy of their father, mother and uncle.

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