Meadow Road

Meadow Road

J. R. Peterson, (John-dates unknown) of Portland, Maine, was an active exhibiting American amateur photographer as well as member and officer of the Portland Camera Club at the beginning of the 20th century.  The club included several notables,  the most prominent being non-resident members Wiliam B. Post of Fryeburg Maine: a member of the American Photo-Secession, and Charles F. Clarke of Springfield, Massachusetts, a member of the Salon Club.  (examples of their work can be seen on PhotoSeed)

Believed to have been taken in 1906 since it was included in the Third American Photographic Salon, (1.) Meadow Road by Peterson was described along with several of his marine studies in a 1907 photographic journal:

J. R. Peterson shows more power than his previous work would indicate. “The Wave” is a magnificent thing, of great realism, yet absolutely free from the minute structural detail which renders petty most marine pictures. “Wave Action” is only less well done. “The Meadow Road,” a brilliant landscape, is equally good in its field.  (2.)

In 1909, Meadow Road was singled out for commentary and criticism and reproduced as a full-page halftone (flipped) in the pages of the Complete Self-instructing Library of Practical Photography.  Note: Peterson erroneously listed as being from Oregon.

From p. 312:

Study No. 48. Title, “The Meadow Road,” by J.R. Peterson, Portland, Ore.  This picture was accepted and hung at the Third American Salon. The exposure was made at 6 a. m. in the month of August, on a bright, clear day. The lens used was a Plastigmat; focal length, 9 inches; stop used, U.S. No. 8; exposure give, 1/2 second. The plate used was a 5 x 7 Orthonon, developed with rodinal. Printing process, Eastman sepia paper. The negative was enlarged to 8 x 10; the clouds were worked in in the printing from a new negative. The picture was mounted on a combination mount-first section black border, followed with an ash gray mount.   (See Page 306.)  (3.)

From p. 335:

Study No. 48, “The Meadow Road,” by J. R. Peterson. This picture illustrates well the balance of mass and line with general breadth of effect. The composition, as a whole, is harmonious, though there is a tendency, perhaps, to include too many objects of interest. The upright posts are a disfigurement, and if removed would not be missed from the picture. The central point of interest is marked by the highlight at the bend in the road where it is well placed in sharp contrast with the mass of dark foliage. The sky is good and the double mounting of the print lends a distinct charm to the picture.   (See Page 306.)   (4.)

print details: recto: slight overall staining to unmounted green-toned carbon print.

verso: signed in black ink in Peterson’s hand:

Meadow Road

JR Peterson

additionally signed in unknown hand in graphite: Carbon Print



1. “We wish again to announce that all entries for the Third American Photographic Salon must be in the hands of local jurors by Oct. 30, 1906.”: in: Photo-Era: Boston: October, 1906. The Third American Photographic Salon was held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art from January 20-31, 1907 with 275 photographs exhibited by 115 entrants. The museum’s website states “most pieces were offered for sale.”
2. in: The American Amateur Photographer and Camera and Dark Room: Volume XIX: January-June 1907: Edited by Dr. John Nicol & Frederick C. Beach: The American Photographic Publishing Co.: New York, N.Y.: p. 34
3. from: Complete Self-instructing Library of Practical Photography: Volume III: General exterior Photography Composition: J.B. Schriever: Editor-in-Chief: Popular Edition: Published by American School of Art and Photography: Scranton, PA: 1909: p. 312
4. Ibid: from: “How to Understand and Enjoy the Studies“: p. 335

Meadow Road

Image Dimensions23.5 x 18.5 cm

Support Dimensionsunmounted