The Storm

The Storm

The following editorial comments for “The Storm” appeared in The Photographic Times, where it appeared as the frontis gravure plate for the Friday, June 7, 1889 issue:


Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! 
  You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, 
  Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts, 
  Singe my white head !”—King Lear, Act III., Scene 2.


Our photogravure this week is from Mr. McMichael’s negative, entitled, “The Storm,” and from which he has exhibited prints on several occasions, and always with the greatest acceptance on the part of the public. At Minneapolis, last July, it won one of the highest awards offered by the Photographer’s Association of America, and was universally admired, both for its artistic conception and almost faultless execution. In our own opinion, it is one of the best specimens of photographic portraiture which has ever been shown in this country. The subject who sat to Mr. McMichael for the picture, was Charles Collins, an actor of some repute, who has been seen in Edwin Booth’s support.
A recent letter from Mr. McMichael concerning this picture reads:

“I see my ‘Storm’ picture has been published by the ‘Theatre’ in New York. It is now being modified in bronze. It was in my collection at last convention and I received a bronze medal from the association, also the ‘Acme’ award for best collection at the convention.”
It will probably be exhibited once more at Boston, next summer. (1.)

Born in 1844 in Ontario, Canada, Hezekiah McMichael (d. 1907 in Buffalo) was called the “most prominent photographer in this country at the present time” by the editors of The Photographic Times in 1889. He had emigrated to Buffalo, New York in 1871 where he set up a commercial portrait studio. Active in the Photographers’ Association of America, he became president of this body in 1888. The following biography of the photographer, who went by H. McMichael professionally, was included in the August 2, 1889 issue of The Photographic Times:


H. McMichael was born in Norfolk County, Ontario, in 1844. The first twenty-one years of his life was spent on a farm, but from that time onward he has been a photographer. At first following the profession in Hamilton and other Canadian towns, Mr. McMichael soon decided to enter a larger field, and went to Buffalo in 1871, and opened a studio on Main Street, where he has been located ever since. His connection with the Photographers’ Association of America is as brief as it has been brilliant. In 1884 he joined that body, and attended its convention in Cincinnati, but that year making no exhibit. There it was decided to hold the convention of 1885 in Buffalo, and Mr. McMichael was chosen Local and Recording Secretary. At the Buffalo Convention he made his first exhibit, and took the first prize of one hundred dollars. At that convention he was elected General Secretary, and at the convention following, held at St. Louis, declined the proffered re-election.

His management of the office gave the widest spread satisfaction, and the association cleared more money than all the photographic conventions ever held in America had done before. At St. Louis he took the first prize of one hundred dollars in gold and a silver medal, on his general exhibit. The next year, at Chicago, he took the first gold medal, and one hundred dollars in gold. Last year, at Minneapolis, as is well known, he took the first cash prize for general work, and a medal, and was there unanimously elected President of the Association by acclamation, amid the greatest enthusiasm. In the history of the Association he is the only man who has been thus honored. His management of the association since then is well known to all. It is what all have expected, and the success of the present semi-centennial of photography’s birth, is the crowning event in Mr. McMichael’s brilliant photographic career.

In addition to the Association medals and prizes which have been awarded to Mr. McMichael, our President has been honored in Canada and abroad. The first gold medal of Canada, in 1886, and again in 1887, was given to him for his magnificent portrait work at the International Exposition at Toronto. In 1887, the first prize offered by the Canadian Photographers’ Association was won by him, and in January, 1888, he received one of two silver medals offered by the Photographic Society of India, at its exposition held under the auspices of Lord Dufferin. It was a prize for portraits, open to the photographers of the world. (2.)

1. The Photographic Times:  June 7, 1889: p. 279
2. Ibid: August, 2, 1889: p. 375

The Storm

Image Dimensions15.0 x 12.8 cm Friday, June 7, 1889: No. 403

Support Dimensions27.7 x 19.9 cm