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Walt Whitman photographic portraits

 Collection — Box: 1 [31151030132371], Folder: 5
Identifier: MS-0894
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet and writer. The collection consists of thirty photographic portraits of Walt Whitman from 1854 to 1889, half of which are duplicates. All are photo service prints, stamped "Culver Pictures" or "Culver Service" on the reverse.

Dates

  • 1854 - 1889

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

1 Folders (1 legal size folder)

Biographical / Historical

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an American poet and writer, best known for Leaves of Grass, published in multiple editions from 1855. He was photographed continuously from the 1840s to 1891 by some of the country’s leading early photographers.

Source: Ed Folsom, "'This Heart’s Geography Map': The Photographs of Walt Whitman" and "Notes on Whitman's Photographers" in The Walt Whitman Archive, ed. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, and Kenneth M. Price, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Accessed 6 Jan. 2022. https://whitmanarchive.org/

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of thirty photographic portraits of Walt Whitman, half of which are duplicates. All are photo service prints, stamped "Culver Pictures" or "Culver Service" on the reverse. Five photographs, representing three poses and two duplicates, are dated 1865, 1882 (x 3), and 1889 respectively. The last refers to the date the photograph was published, not taken. Comparison with the Walt Whitman Archive, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, suggests that the collection contains photographs by Gabriel Harrison? (1854), Mathew Brady? or Alexander Gardner? (1862), Mathew Brady (1866, 1865-7), Alexander Gardner (1864-5), J. C. Tarisse? (1869), William Kurtz? (late 1860s), G. Frank Pearsall (1868-72), Jacob Spieler (1876, here labeled May 25, 1882), Edy Brothers (Summer 1880 x 2), George C. Cox (Apr. 15, 1887), Sophia Williams? (1887), and Frederick Gutekunst (1880, 1889). Uncertain attributions are as they appear in the Walt Whitman Archive. The portrait attributed to Sophia Williams was taken at Whitman’s home in Camden, New Jersey, while the others appear to be studio portraits.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Elysium Books in July 2020.

Related Materials

Additional portraits of Whitman and information about his photographers can be found online at The Walt Whitman Archive, published by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Processing Information

Processed by Brooke Shilling in January 2022.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA