PhotographerMrs. R.P. Lounsbery
Image Dimensions: 12.6 x 11.3 cm March 2, 1894: Vol. XXIV, No. 650
Support Dimensions: 29.0 x 21.5 cm
Mrs. R.P. Lounsbery was Edith Hunter Haggin Lounsbery DeLong, (1858-1940), “daughter of Eliza Jane Sanders and James Ben Ali Haggin (1822-1914), who had made a fortune in mining during the 1849 gold rush to California.” (1.) When she made this portrait appearing in The Photographic Times she was married to New York City stockbroker Richard Purdy Lounsbery.
The following editorial comment regarding this plate appears on p. 130:
”Repose” is the title of our photogravure frontispiece, and is a fine piece of photographic work by Mrs. R. P. Lounsbery. Most of our readers will be familiar with this lady’s excellent photographs, several having already appeared in The Photographic Times. Mrs. Lounsbery is one of the most prominent members of the New York Camera Club. There are many points in the arrangement and lighting of the model in the picture ” Repose ” which it will be well for the photographer, both amateur and professional, to study.
A profile of Lounsbery from the Illustrated American: December 20, 1890:
MRS. RICHARD P. LOUNSBERY. ~A pretty medley of art and science is photography, and so neat, compact, and interesting is the process by which these chemical pictures are produced that one hardly wonders at the pleasure women find in the use of cameras. And there are no longer dozens, but hundreds, who do produce such well-arranged, clear, worthy photographs, as is to be proven at the season exhibitions of the New York Camera Club. Perhaps, of that flourishing and most useful organization, the feminine member whose work attracts more attention and merits the highest admiration is Mrs. Richard P. Lounsbery, an amateur and yet a very artist. Not very long ago, prompted by curiosity, she made her first experiments under the eye of a friendly enthusiast who volunteered, on her private lawn and in her drawing-room, to explain the delicacies of focussing, exposing, developing, etc., with practical demonstration. The idle curiosity waxed into a warm interest, and, purchasing her own apparatus, she practised and experimented till her instructor found there was no more to be taught, but much to be learned from this very apt pupil.
No subject was too difficult to daunt her efforts, and portraiture, landscapes, and interiors were caught and developed in beautiful perfection from her fine and costly lenses. In the elaborate and convenient laboratory of the Camera Club she prepares much of her paper for printing, understands the methods of enlarging and reducing from plates of varying sizes, and for her the optical lantern no longer holds any mysteries. Yet it is in portraiture, perhaps, this clever woman excels; and not only in the mere cut and dried mechanical processes, but in the picturesque disposal of her subjects. At a glance she catches the portrayable possibilities of her sitters, and demands of them a turn of the head, a light of expression, and poise of body that is a valuable quality many professionals might study with advantage from her pictures.
Though a woman of society, the head of a house—with manifold duties, both social and domestic, requiring her mind and time—Mrs. Lounsbery finds the opportunity wherein to test new processes, focus, develop, and print innumerable photographs, and, on her return from a summer in the country, she brings, mounted on album leaves, camera-pictures as full of charm and interest as the pages of an artist’s sketchbook. (p. 116: from: Current Topics of Interest to Women)
wrinkling to plate
1. excerpt: The DeLongs of New York and Brooklyn: Sasco Associates: 1972: p. 176
Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on December 16, 2014:
Volumes of plates are slowly being added to the site, with the latest being the first half year for the 1894 Photographic Times. A revelation and startling photographic connection for one of the posted photogravures from this volume brought me back to my first year as a professional newspaper photographer in the mid 80’s. When working for the former Hollywood Sun-Tattler newspaper, I photographed Jack Roland Murphy, aka: “Murph the Surf”, a crook famous for his 1964 theft of the DeLong Star Ruby and other famous jewels from the American Museum of Natural History. (yes-they made a movie about it) Murphy was being released after serving time for a murder conviction from the Florida State Prison and I was in attendance. That connection and revelation? The Delong Ruby had been owned by Mrs. R.P. Lounsbery, (Edith Hunter Haggin Lounsbery DeLong, (1858-1940) a member of the New York Camera Club whose photograph “Repose” is the frontis plate for the March 2nd issue.