H.  McMichael

H. McMichael

Editorial Comment for this plate:


OUR frontispiece illustration this week is an excellent portrait of the President of the Photographers’ Association of America. It is from a negative made in Mr. McMichael’s own studio, and, in his own opinion, is one of the best portraits he has ever had made. Beside the interest which attaches to this portrait as being the likeness of the most prominent photographer in this country at the present time, it is an example of portraiture that may be studied with profit by all photographers, and is a fair representative of the photographic work done in Mr. McMichael’s own studio at Buffalo. Our readers are already familiar with the superior figure pictures which Mr. McMichael has shown. His superb exhibition at the Boston Convention is, perhaps, the most complete he has ever made.

H. McMichael was born in Norfolk County, Ontario, in 1844. The first twenty-one years of his life was spent on a farm, but from that time onward he has been a photographer. At first following the profession in Hamilton and other Canadian towns, Mr. McMichael soon decided to enter a larger field, and went to Buffalo in 1871, and opened a studio on Main Street, where he has been located ever since.

His connection with the Photographers’ Association of America is as brief as it has been brilliant. In 1884 he joined that body, and attended its convention in Cincinnati, but that year making no exhibit. There it was decided to hold the convention of 1885 in Buffalo, and Mr. McMichael was chosen Local and Recording Secretary. At the Buffalo Convention he made his first exhibit, and took the first prize of one hundred dollars.

At that convention he was elected General Secretary, and at the convention following, held at St. Louis, declined the proffered re-election. His management of the office gave the widest spread satisfaction, and the association cleared more money than all the photographic conventions ever held in America had done before. At St. Louis he took the first prize of one hundred dollars in gold and a silver medal, on his general exhibit. The next year, at Chicago, he took the first gold medal, and one hundred dollars in gold. Last year, at Minneapolis, as is well known, he took the first cash prize for general work, and a medal, and was there unanimously elected President of the Association by acclamation, amid the greatest enthusiasm. In the history of the Association he is the only man who has been thus honored. His management of the association since then is well known to all. It is what all have expected, and the success of the present semi-centennial of photography’s birth, is the crowning event in Mr. McMichael’s brilliant photographic career.

In addition to the Association medals and prizes which have been awarded to Mr. McMichael, our President has been honored in Canada and abroad. The first gold medal of Canada, in 1886, and again, in 1887, was given to him for his magnificent portrait work at the International Exposition at Toronto. In 1887, the first prize offered by the Canadian Photographers’ Association was won by him, and in January, 1888, he received one of two silver medals offered by the Photographic Society of India, at its exposition held under the auspices of Lord Dufferin. It was a prize for portraits, open to the photographers of the world. (p. 375)

H. McMichael

Image Dimensions18.7 x 11.1 cm Published as frontis plate for August 2, 1889 issue

Support Dimensions28.6 x 20.5 cm