CARTE-DE-VISTE CULTURE IN MANCHESTER NH: A CASE STUDY
With little existing scholarship of cartes-de-visite, they are largely written off within the history of photography as consumer-driven commodities rather than artistic objects. Even though many existing cartes-de-visite can be attributed to certain photographers, the role of the photographer as artist, and the individual photographers themselves, are disregarded in common scholarship. The following paper will address the effects of the carte-de-visite phenomenon on popular culture, the aesthetic value of the photographs, and the role of the photographer as artist. This paper will closely examine the carte-de-visite culture of a certain geographical area, Manchester, New Hampshire. Conducting such a case study clarifies the societal relations of the photographer to community and provides a specific framework in which to examine the modes in which cartes-de-visite were created and exchanged. A specific focus also allows an in-depth examination of the successes and failures of photography studios as well as the ratio of studios to adjacent populations. The photographers that produced cartes-de-visite, although behind the camera, were often prominent members of the communities they served. While these portrait photographers have been forgotten, in this study of carte-de-visite culture the photographers will be revived as authors of images. Through the examination of a particular album, the Dickey Album, containing photographs from Manchester, New Hampshire, this paper will address the role of the photographers, the climate in which the photographs were created, the subjects of the cartes-de-visite, as well as the social and familial role of the album for the individual(s) to which it belonged.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:carte de visite 19th century photography manchester new hampshire stephen piper lyman w colby
Date of Publication:01/01/2006