The Song of the Meadow Lark
Image Dimensions: 18.4 x 16.0 | 19.1 x 16.5 cm
Support Dimensions: 28.4 x 25.7 cm black-painted pine? wood frame
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Dating to about 1900, this rare surviving example of The Song of the Meadow Lark by Photographic Society of Philadelphia member Mathilde Weil(1872-1942) is presented here in its original wood (pine?) frame. (glass removed) An original platinum print mounted on board with narrow margins to fit frame, it is signed with her red-ink cipher at lower right of image.
Early exhibition history for Song of the Meadow Lark:
1899: Meadow-Lark was one of five photographs shown by Weil during the Second Philadelphia Photographic Salon (catalogue #334). At the time, Weil lived at 1628 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. The photograph was also reproduced as a full-page halftone in the Salon catalogue.
Francis J. Ziegler, writing in Brush and Pencil for a review of the Philadelphia Photographic Salon, said of this photograph: “Among Philadelphia’s artist photographers one of the most prominent is Miss Mathilde Weil, and her contributions to this exhibition are full of artistic excellence. Her “Song of the Meadow-Lark” has a suggestion of the Orient about it, notwithstanding the fact that the landscape is an American field and the two girls who have stopped in their reaping have American faces. This effect, I think, is due to the long braids of hair which hang down the front of one damsel’s bodice, and the white jacket worn by her companion, the trimming of which repeats the same lines in artistic harmony.” (p. 113)
1900: Meadow-Lark exhibited in the 45th Annual Royal Photographic Society Exhibition. (No. 136)
criticism: article: The Photographic Salon at the Dudley Gallery in London: from: Photograms of the Year 1900: London: Dawbarn & Ward, Ltd. :
A very high level of accomplishment has been reached this year by Miss Mathilde Weil. The Song of the Meadow Lark (72) is an especially tasteful composition. The unaffected grace of the two reaper girls walking homewards makes a sure appeal to the imagination. Perhaps the hook which the younger one carries should have been less black—again one realizes the want of colour— but the picture generally is very attractive. (p. 142)
The work was additionally reproduced as a signature example of Weil’s early work around this time in publications including Camera Craft and The Photographic Times.
Provenance: Acquired by PhotoSeed in December, 2016. Seller stated work had formerly hung in a home in Chatsworth, New Jersey close to where cranberries are grown. One other known example of this work held by the Library of Congress. (LOC Control # 2004675076)