Southworth and Hawes, American, Albert Sands Southworth, 1811-1894; Josiah Johnson Hawes, 1808-1901
Harriet Beecher Stowe, ca. 1843-1845
Daguerreotype, quarter plate
Plate: 4 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches (10.8 x 8.26 cm) Image: 3 3/4 x 2 7/8 inches (9.53 x 7.3 cm) Case: 5 1/2 x 4 7/8 x 13/16 inches (13.97 x 12.38 x 2.06 cm)
Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.13
© Nelson Gallery Foundation
Location: Not on view
The Hallmark collection is very strong in early American photography, which exists primarily in the form of the daguerreotype. Despite its many technical difficulties, the daguerreotype was a remarkable, and even astonishing, process. Many of these images radiate a sense of immediacy and presence; we almost seem to be looking through a small window at the past itself. This is the best (and probably earliest) known photograph of Stowe, the famed author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In addition to the importance of its subject, this work was made by one of the most famous studios of the day, the operation of Southworth & Hawes, in Boston.