Harbingers of Spring

Harbingers of Spring

This study of skunk cabbage growing in the Spring time may have been taken using an artificial light source. Author Frank Roy Fraprie mentioned the photograph in his article on photographing wild flowers for the March, 1904 issue of Boston’s Photo-Era:

The plant must be photographed in its surroundings, for it has no stem or leaves at this season, to make possible a graceful arrangement at home, even if one were inclined to extend it hospitality. Mrs. Baynes has conquered all these difficulties, and her picture, “Harbingers of Spring,” is interesting to both the naturalist and the artistic photographer, – to one for its fidelity and to the other for its good composition.  (1.)

print notes mount verso: inscribed in faded black ink script at upper margin by Baynes:

Mrs. Smith –  With best wishes for a happy Christmas

Louise Birt Baynes


provenance:  Purchased 2015 from George Barnes of New England who stated he discovered this mounted photograph used as a backing board for an old framed picture purchased on Charles Street in Boston in the late 1960’s.

print condition: unconserved: faded gelatin silver photograph showing slight transfer to print recto due to sandwiching within frame.

1. excerpt: Photographing the Wild Flowers: Frank Roy Fraprie: Photo-Era: Boston: March, 1904: p. 37 : halftone of Harbingers of Spring reproduced on p. 41 (unpaginated)

Harbingers of Spring

Image Dimensions20.8 x 15.5 cm glued

Support DimensionsDetail: 35.6 x 27.9 cm chipboard