The Kiss

The Kiss

Harry Richardson Cremer, (1878-1942) a gifted amateur photographer, was the son of Wilmington photographer Frank R. Cremer (1853-1905) and grandson of Philadelphia photographer James Cremer. (1821-1893)

Shortly after high school graduation, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for two years. H. R. Cremer made his living as a business diagnostician specializing in the import and export of products. Photography was a serious hobby, and he began exhibiting his work in 1924. He was a charter member of the Photographic Society of America and president of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts, Photography Department (now the Brooklyn Museum). (1.) 

The subject of the photo is believed to be David Oakley Hagedorn, (1918-1946: born Oakley Hagedorn in Fairfield, CT) embracing his mother Dorothy Oakley Hagedorn. (1883-1977) We believe the photograph was taken around 1922 based on a slightly older photograph from 1925 of Oakley Hagedorn taken by H.R. Cremer. This is based on the other photographs in the original auction lot resembling the two in this photograph and identified thus: “OAKLEY HAGEDORN” 1925 (7 3/4 X 9 3/4),  “OAKLEY HAGEDORN” (7 1/4 X 9 3/4), OAKLEY &  HIS MOTHER (7 1/2 X 9 1/2). Hagedorn’s father was Hermann Hagedorn, (1882-1964) who was U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s biographer, writing several books on him including “The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill.”

Timeline: H.R. Cremer 1878-1942

  • 1878: Born on December 11. 
  • 1913: Marriage to Agnes H. Child on Nov. 4.
  • 1918: WWI Draft: occupation: Import Manager
  • 1920: Census: Occupation: Office Manager
  • 1925-1936: participated in more than 100 (photographic) salons (2.)
  • 1930 Census: occupation: Manager, Photo Gallery
  • Living with wife Agnes HC Cremer (46) (died 1955) and son Willard G. Cremer (13)
  • 1940 Census: occupation: General Laborer, Road Construction Project (WPA?)
  • Died: April 21, 1942 (indicated on back of photo) or Dec. 4, 1942 (GEDCOM data-FamilySearch)
  1. Antiques and Auction News, Early Photography And Civil War-Era U.S. Flags Among Stars At Dotta Auction On Oct. 12 Estate Sale To Be Held In Nazareth, Pa.
  2. Nineteenth Century New Jersey Photographers Revision of illustrated article in New Jersey History, Fall/Winter 2004 by Gary D. Saretzky
The Kiss

Image Dimensions23.8 x 18.7 cm laid down

Support Dimensions41.9 x 31.0 cm moderately thick manilla art paper

Print Notes

Recto: signed and titled in graphite by the artist: ll: The Kiss; lr: H.R. Cremer


Purchased for this archive in January, 2020 from seller in  Kunkletown, Pennsylvania; Dotta Auction Co., Inc. sale October, 2019 Lot 454