Antique JAMES WALLACE BLACK Crossing of Boston Albany Providence Railroad PHOTO For Sale
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Antique JAMES WALLACE BLACK Crossing of Boston Albany Providence Railroad PHOTO:
ORIGINAL JAMES WALLACE BLACK (1825-1896) 'CROSSING OF THE BOSTON & ALBANY & BOSTON & PROVIDENCE RAILROAD, AT BOSTON. MASS PUT DOWN NOVEMBER 28, 1869' GELATIN SILVER ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHThis is just a great original piece. I have owned this photograph for quite a few years and it has been hanging in my office. I always thought it was an important photograph by an important photographer and have just wanted to look at it for a while. With some redecorating, I took it down and decided it was time to sell it. James Wallace Black is one of the most important photographers in the history of the United States, and particularly Boston, Massachusetts. He was actually the first photographer to take an aerial photograph in America with his views of Boston from a Hot Air Balloon being some of the most historic and important photos. He also was the major photographer that documented the great fire in Boston in 1872. The Boston Public Library has an extensive collection as do some of the other Boston institutions and I cannot find another example of this image. Not listed in Worldcat either. Besides being one of the more important photographers, this is also a great historical moment in Railroad history as well. Connecting the many railroad lines across America at this time was something that was going on and the documentation of this in historical photographs is scarce. The golden spike was laid earlier that same year and the photograph of that sells in the $10,000-$20,000 range. This is a wonderful albumen photograph measuring 10 1/4 x 16 inches on original mount. The photograph is clean and clear and shows the men standing around that are probably the original engineers and owners of the railroad that orchestrated this crossing. The title in the bottom margin is clear with just some minor toning and a faint stain. Contemporary matte around the edges up the the edge of the image. Contemporary wood frame is complimentary and ready to hang. Do your own research on this photograph. Black photos sell for thousands of dollars and that can be for ones that are not nearly as historically important. This one is an important piece in the history of Railroad and a must have for any collector. Frame measures 18 x 22 inches.
For those not familiar with the artist his biography from the Metropolitan Museum of Art reads: "After Southworth and Hawes, the partnership of John Whipple and James Black was the most important in Boston. Black's career began humbly in 1845 as chief plate polisher in two local daguerreian studios. By 1852 he was apprenticed to Whipple, and within four years he was a partner in the firm. Between 1857 and 1860, Black managed the business single-handedly, while Whipple completed a three-year scientific exploration of celestial bodies at the Harvard College Observatory. Less interested in astronomy or abstract science, Black left Whipple in 1859 to focus the camera on his own planet.Best known for his photographs of Boston after the devasting fire of 1872, Black launched his solo career in 1860 with the production of a series of aerial photographs taken from Samuel King's hot-air balloon the "Queen of the Air." Black's views of Boston were the first aerial photographs made in America; two years earlier the Frenchman Nadar had made history making similar views of Paris.
Black's photographs caught the attention of Oliver Wendell Holmes, a poet and professor of medicine at Harvard, who gave this photograph its title. In July 1863, Holmes wrote in the "Atlantic Monthly": "Boston, as the eagle and wild goose see it, is a very different object from the same place as the solid citizen looks up at its eaves and chimneys. The Old South [Church] and Trinity Church [left center and lower right] are two landmarks not to be mistaken. Washington Street [bottom] slants across the picture as a narrow cleft. Milk Street [left center] winds as if the old cowpath which gave it a name had been followed by the builders of its commercial palaces. Windows, chimneys, and skylights attract the eye in the central parts of the view, exquisitely defined, bewildering in numbers.... As a first attempt [at aerial photography] it is on the whole a remarkable success; but its greatest interest is in showing what we may hope to see accomplished in the same direction." Only two years later the Union Army would use balloon photography to spy on Confederate troops during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia."
CHECK THE PICTURES ON THIS GREAT PIECE. DONT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.
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