The Bonfire

The Bonfire

Believed to have been taken ca. 1900-06 (Flynt-The Allen Sisters-Pictorial Photographers) and first exhibited in early 1907 at The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, the pictorial landscape The Bonfire by Frances Stebbins Allen shows seven children in a field clustered around smoke rising from a small bonfire. As they look on, and with the child at center of composition shielding his face from the stinging smoke, the conflagration is kept in check by a seated boy who holds a long stick seen at far left background.

Exhibited: 1907: Exhibition of The Society of Arts and Crafts, Copley & Allston Halls, Boston, MA, February 5-26

– 1908: Fifth Annual Exhibition of Photographs, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 30-November 30.

– 1908: Art Crafts Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois: December 8-22.


 -1908: plate #2, in: Colour Photography and other Recent Developments of The Art of The Camera: Edited By Charles Holme: Offices of “The Studio“: London, Paris & New York

– 2002: plate 42: Frances S. Allen, The Bonfire, 1900-1906: platinum print: in: The Allen Sisters-Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920: Suzanne L. Flynt: 2002: Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts: p. 121

print notes recto: area of black spotting midway along right margin.

print notes verso: In graphite at center: The Bonfire; upper right: 3354 (Allen Sisters stock #); below title: 75 (original retail price for photograph was .75 cents): lower margin: faint black ink stamp:

ALL Rights Reserved.


provenance: acquired May, 2018 from Massachusetts book and ephemera dealer via 2015 auction based in New England.

The Bonfire

Image Dimensions15.6 x 20.5 cm (shown within original frame: glass removed)

Support Dimensions22.0 x 26.7 x 2.0 cm period Arts & Crafts, quarter-sawn oak frame