Thru the Back Window

Thru the Back Window

Thru the Back Window  most likely dates to late 1922 or early 1923 as it won second honorable mention in a monthly camera contest sponsored by the arts magazine Shadowland. (Expressing the Arts) It was published with other winners, including one by Margaret Watkins, in the May, 1923 issue. (p. 64) The subject, a snowy, early evening view showing the backs of buildings including the glowing window of one at center of the frame, was very possibly taken from the vantage point of the photographer’s own residence listed on the photograph as 338 W. 22nd St. in New York City.

The 1924 volume of the photographic journal Photo-Era singled the work out and its’ creator:

Charles A. Hellmuth, a comparative newcomer in Bromoil, though a pictorialist of long standing, has in “Through the Back Window” one of the finest examples of beautifying the commonplace it has been our good fortune to witness in some time.    (p. 307)

print details: recto: signed in graphite at lower right corner:   Hellmuth 24′

print details: verso: on mount:

-black ink stamp to pasted white label: Chas. A. Hellmuth
338 W. 22nd St., New York; typewritten title:
# 1 ” Thru The Back Window “

-small pasted white stamp for Pictorial Photographers of America and an additional small white label with # 2629.


Another extant print of this image in this archive states duplicate was exhibited and sold at the 1924 Pittsburgh Salon and entered in The Annual Frederick & Nelson Salon of Pictorial Photography the same year. (Seattle, WA)
Pasted entry label on support verso signed by Hellmuth for the Frederick & Nelson salon includes the following technical and other details:

Title of Picture: “Thru the Back Window”
When Taken: January
Camera Used: Speed Graphic
Plate or Film Used: Film Pack
Developed with: M Q.
Paper and Printing Process Used: Bromoil. Wellington Bromoil

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Image Dimensions32.1 x 24.0 cm pasted

Support Dimensions50.7 x 40.6 cm detail: moderately thin, manilla-colored "oak tag" type matrix