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

A Study in Japanese was published in the elegant art periodical Sun and Shade. 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. [1]


[1] Foster, Sheila J. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Rochester, NY: George Eastman House, 2007. p. 197