A Study in Japanese Barnes, Catherine Weed  (American, 1851-1913)

"A Study in Japanese" was published in the elegant art periodical Sun and Shade, a production of the New York Photo-Gravure Company. Catharine Weed Barnes Ward was an amateur photographer in New York. In May 1890, she joined the staff of the American Amateur Photographer, as the writer of a column called ‘Women’s Work,’ perhaps the first woman to become a photography columnist and associate editor of a photographic journal.

This monthly artistic portfolio printed by Ernest Edwards’ New York Photo-Gravure Company is a self-described “Picture Periodical without Letter Press.”’ In its first year, the publication grew from less than fifty subscribers to a monthly edition of four thousand. Responding to interest in a “higher grade of pictures” with emphasis on quality rather than quantity, the magazine transformed itself from its original concept of a “Photographic Record of Events” to an “Artistic Periodical.” By the fifth issue in January 1889, the shift was taking place; the lesser quality photomechanical method of photolithography was abandoned, and reproductions were by photogravure and “photogelatin” (collotype) only. Each issue typically featured a portfolio of eight high-quality, large photogravures and collotypes of artwork and artistic photography of leading artists and photographers of the day. (Imagining Paradise, p.197)


Foster, Sheila J, Manfred Heiting, and Rachel Stuhlman. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007 p. 196