Image Dimensions: 20.7 x 15.5 cm | Christmas Number: published December 15, 1893 | issue No. 639
Support Dimensions: 28.8 x 21.1 cm
Editorial comment on this plate:
from: Our Pictures:
The photogravure frontispiece entitled “Santa Claus” is the work of Miss E.V. Clarkson, and is undoubtedly a remarkably fine portrait study representing old Father Christmas bearing the load of toys and presents to gladden the hearts of the little ones. (p. 752)
Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on August 1, 2012:
This very early photographic representation of Father Christmas, otherwise known as Santa Claus, was taken by American photographer Emilie V. Clarkson. (1863-1946) Born in Potsdam, New York she graduated from Potsdam State Normal School in 1883. Afterwords, she studied drawing and painting under private tutors in New York City. In 1894, a biography in the Photographic Times stated she first took up photography in the fall of 1888 as an indirect frustration with art: “Becoming at length dissatisfied with the inadequacy and slowness of the means she was employing to furnish an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, she determined to try photography, partly as an aid to study, and partly to test its efficiency in the production of finished work.” A photographic convert, she soon enrolled and graduated from the Chautauqua School of Photography in the summer of 1890, winning the prize of a Steinheil lens for her portrait work there. In December, 1890 she joined the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York and the following year had work shown for the first time in the Joint Exhibition of 1891, showcasing amateur work from New York, Boston and Philadelphia.