Horace Traubel: Roundel Portrait

Horace Traubel: Roundel Portrait

This uncommon profile photograph is presented as a roundel portrait of the American editor and poet Horace Logo Traubel. (1858-1919) Double-mounted, its contained within a folder, and is signed by Traubel as a remembrance to his good friend Gustave Percival Wiksell, (1863-1940) a Boston dentist who served as president of the Walt Whitman Fellowship from 1903-1919. Please see blog link “American Love Story” for further details on this historically significant photograph connecting the lives of Traubel and Wiksell with American poet Walt Whitman.

Allen Drew Cook: 1871-1923

When this photograph was taken in 1910, Allen Drew Cook maintained his studio at 1631 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. This was the same address as that for the offices of The Conservator, a monthly literary magazine edited and published by Horace Traubel beginning in October, 1910. (the magazine was launched by Traubel in 1890) Beginning In 1915 and running into 1916, an advertisement for “Photographic Portraits” by Allen Drew Cook of Eugene Debs, Clarence Darrow, J. William Lloyd and Traubel appeared on the back page of The Conservator. 

Beginning in 1898 and through 1901, the last year they were held, Cook was an annual exhibitor at the annual Philadelphia Photographic Salon.

From 1919-21, Cook’s photographs would often appear in Philadelphia’s Evening Public Ledger featuring portraits of members of Philadelphia Society as well as wedding portraits, crediting his Vanity Fair Studio, then located on the second floor of 1631 Chesnut St.  Library of Congress link.

Obituary: Allen Drew Cook, president of the Vanity Fair Studio and for more than thirty years a photographer of Philadelphia, died June 27th, at his home, 205 South De Kalb Street, Norristown, Pa. Mr. Cook’s death came after two days’ illness and was caused by a nervous disease, aggravated, his physicians say, by overwork. Mr. Cook was in his fifty-fourth year. Besides his widow, Mr. Cook leaves four daughters.  (1.)

Print notes recto: signed in black ink in the hand of Horace Traubel: Wiksell in upper left corner of print; signed Horace Traubel 1910 at lower right by the sitter; signed Cook in graphite outside lower right margin of roundel; blindstamp for Cook at lower right corner of secondary mount.

Provenance: Purchased by PhotoSeed in May, 2016 from dealer based in Staunton, VA; the portrait coming from an area estate two years previously. 

1. Obituary: Allen Drew Cook: In: Bulletin of Photography: July 4, 1923, p. 27.

Horace Traubel: Roundel Portrait

Image Dimensions17.4 cm roundel on paper 23.7 x 19.6 cm

Support Dimensions24.8 x 20.6 | 28.4 x 23.9 cm affixed within folder: 29.4 x 48.8 cm