Page 3 Bartlett, N. Gray  (American, 1885-1951)

Between 1888 and 1896, the Boston-based publisher Joseph Knight (1829-1907) partnered with Ernest Edwards (1837-1903), president of the New York Photogravure Company, to publish a series of small gift books illustrated with photogravures. Most were produced in editions of 500 with similar printed paper covers and horizontal formats.

Chicago photographer Mary Ann (Mrs. N. Gray) Bartlett (1846-1913) made three books with Knight, the first in 1892 entitled Old Friends with New Faces. Was well received. “The most original and genuinely pictorial product of photography we have seen for a long time,” wrote Edward Wilson. “It is a handsomely arranged series of photogravures of children.”

“. . . This is no “hand-camera” or “snap-shot” work, but that of a thoughtful, artistic photographer, able to tackle pictures of a good size, and to make them well. The pictures must be on whole-size plates, and they are, every-one, technically excellent.”– Wilson’s Photographic Magazine 30, no. 434 (February 1893).

Born Mary Ann McCune, Bartlett married the chemist N. Gray Bartlett (1840-1917) and together they had four children: Greyson, Bertha Madelon, Allyn, and John. It’s Madelon who poses for the frontispiece of “Old Friends” dressed up as Mother Goose with a camera. Both husband and wife became active in the Chicago photography scene, but it was Mrs. Bartlett who rose to prominence among the amateur practitioners. Posing her children and neighbors in the backyard of their stately red brick home, Bartlett took first prize for platinotypes at the Art Institute of Chicago’s 1888 exhibit. By 1890, she was named Director of the Camera Club of Chicago and was illustrating stories in St. Nicolas, Outings, Scribner’s, and other national magazines. In 1893, when the World’s Columbian Exposition came to Chicago, Bartlett was appointed chairman of the committee of the woman’s department of photography for the world’s congress auxiliary. Within this context, she prepared a second book with Knight, Mother Goose of ’93.

She produced only one more book with Knight and the writer Marian L. Wyatt, called A Girl I Know. The entire narrative centers around her daughter Madelon, now a teenager.

Source: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2018/02/18/the-kittens-are-gone-to-st-pauls/

Reproduced / Exhibited

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. 152

References

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. 152