Tag Archives: Bogardus

Anonymous Woman by Bogardus

Anonymous Woman by Bogardus
Anonymous Woman by Bogardus

This is an anonymous portrait by Bogardus, one of the “big names” in mid-19th century American portrait photography. The carte itself and the print are in excellent condition, and I love the photographer’s blind stamp on the back. I’m including two more below by Bogardus to show the different blind stamps he used. I’m sure it evolved further over time, but these are the ones I have in my collection.

Plump lady cabinet card, Bogardus Studio
Plump lady cabinet card, Bogardus Studio
Nellie Keeler, on Bogardus' Sideboard
Nellie Keeler, on Bogardus’ Sideboard

On a parallel but unrelated note, I think the cabinet in the Nellie Keeler and plump lady photos is to Bogardus what the “Reaper” clock is to Brady (as referenced in my previous blog post). The article I linked mentioned that the author found two copies of the Reaper clock like the one Brady had in his studio – it would be very cool to find Bogardus’ sideboard and bring it into a studio.

Another addition to the New York Victorian Photographers Map

I found another photographer in New York to add to my map. This is a case of one photographer taking over the same studio of another – in this case, a Mr. A.W. Jordan took over the premises of Abraham Bogardus’ old studio.

I found the reference to A.W. Jordan on an 1870s Carte-de-visite of a civil war veteran multiple amputee, and the same address was used by Bogardus in the velvet pad on one of his daguerreotypes. It would be interesting to find out if there was another tenant in the studio between Bogardus and Jordan, or if the studio was sold to Jordan directly from Bogardus.

More Midgets – Nellie Keeler and the Rice Family

Here are two more recent acquisitions- another in the same series of Nellie Keeler on the sideboard at Bogardus’ studio in New York-

Nellie Keeler, on Bogardus' Sideboard
Nellie Keeler, on Bogardus’ Sideboard

And one of the Rice Family (“two sisters and a brother, born Germany, aged 35, 24, 33” [from left to right in the image])

The Rice Family, by J. Wood, The Bowery
The Rice Family, by J. Wood, The Bowery

Invasion of the little people!

In my online shopping peregrinations, I came across another Nellie Keeler CDV, so of course I had to add the second varietal to my collection. The captions have it that these are one year apart. Who knows the truth of such things, as so many facts about the circus freak sideshow performers were grossly exaggerated for dramatic effect.

Nellie Keeler, by Bogardus
Nellie Keeler, by Bogardus

Here is the first one I collected, for comparison:

Nellie Keeler, by Bogardus
Nellie Keeler- by Bogardus

And somewhat ironically, here is a larger size (roughly 5×7) Cabinet Card of a much larger woman, seated in front of the same dining room sideboard on which Nellie Keeler is posing. When I saw that, I had to grab it just for that cool factor of coincidence. I’d read a lot about how work of battlefield photographers could be connected if not identified by the use of the same backdrops, furniture and even prop weapons/uniforms in Civil War tintypes. While not exactly the same thing, this is my first instance of finding the same props in two different photos of two VERY different subjects by the same photographer.

Plump lady cabinet card, Bogardus Studio
Plump lady cabinet card, Bogardus Studio

And last but not least (well, maybe least, based on the factoids on the front of the card) is Admiral Dot – yet another Barnum embellishment with an exalted military rank for someone of restrained stature. A contemporary of General Tom Thumb, Commodore Nutt, Major Atom, Count Rosebud and Baron Littlefinger, he also performed in sideshows.

Admiral Dot, published by E&HT Anthony
Admiral Dot, published by E&HT Anthony

As the photographer is not credited, it may well have been one of the lesser-known New York studios specializing in the theatrical trade who was able to work a deal with Anthony to distribute their cards.

Recent arrival to the collection

Nellie Keeler- by Bogardus

The scan does not do the original justice. An amazingly beautifully preserved CDV of a Barnum performer. She was originally from Kokomo, Indiana. Hired in 1879 at age 11, she weighed 28 lbs. The photo is then most likely also from that year or within a year or two after that date.


For more information, check out quasi-modo.net

Victorian Era Photography Studios in New York

I’ve begun a project to catalog and map the locations of Victorian-era photography studios in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia. Using my own collection as a starting point, and skimming back-marks off cartes-de-visite and cased images on Ebay, I’ve come up with some lists, and I’ve begun to put them on a Google Map. Here is my New York list:

STUDIO NAME ADDRESS DATES OF OPERATION
R.A. Lewis 152 Chatham Street * unknown
K.W. Beniczky #2 New Chambers Street, corner of Chatham * unknown
R.A. Lord 164 Chatham Street * unknown
Bogardus 363 Broadway 1860s
Bogardus 872 Broadway late 1870s
Mathew Brady 359 Broadway (1853-1859)
Mathew Brady 643 Bleeker Street (1859-1860)
Mathew Brady 785 Broadway (1860-)
Chas. K. Bill 603 Broadway unknown
J. Gurney & Sons 707 Broadway unknown – early
J. Gurney & Sons 5th Avenue & 16th Street unknown – late
Glosser 827 Broadway unknown
Vaughan’s Gallery 228 Bowery unknown
Bailey’s Photograph Gallery 371 Canal Street unknown
Loud’s Celebrated Album Cards unknown unknown
Fernando Dessaur 145 8th Avenue unknown

* addresses no longer exist. New Chambers Street & Chatham Street are now approximately where New York City Civic Center and Police Headquarters are now located.

I will be doing the same for Washington DC and Philadelphia as I gather more information. These lists are obviously incomplete – if anyone has more information out there on other studios not captured on this list, please pass it along! My interest is in studios operating before 1900, ideally before 1880. If you have information about a given studio during the Daguerrian, wet plate, and the early Dry Plate eras, please include that as well. In my simplistic research, I’ve been finding that along with the change in media, studios moved around a lot – Mathew Brady had four different locations in New York City alone between 1850-1860.