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A Group

Half-plate daguerreotype (5.5 x 4.25 inches), after 1849

This example of "fine grouping" was not part of the Feigenbaum Collection; it was retained by Josiah Johnson Hawes and his descendants until it was sold in the 1980s.


GROUPS. --Fine grouping shows skill in the artist, and though he may not be able to select his sitters, he may arrange them in a picturesque manner, and give a pleasing representation of life scenes...

--From a promotional article by Albert S. Southworth in The Massachusetts Register: A State Record, for the Year 1852, p.328.


"You want to make the picture so that every time that you take it up you will see new beauties in it, and so you will love to turn over an album of such pictures, every single day to examine the effect of fine photographing, and I tell you it is done a great many times, by a great many artists constantly... but gentlemen it is not done by true artists at all. Gentlemen, you will excuse me, I am only talking about the highest reaches of our art, but you will tell me that I have aimed above it. I did not, but never mind the aim; you must aim high and you will not be down there long, you will be coming up, and if you never get to the top, you will have a feeling that you are making the very best effort, and perhaps, if you live long enough, you will reach it. I believe that is all.

--Albert Sands Southworth, "The Uses of the Camera," The Philadelphia Photographer, September 1873

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