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Rotterdam Anderson, John H.  (British, 1862-1938)

This print is from one of of 28 photogravures forming a unique portfolio of John Anderson’s work. Examples of Anderson’s photogravures are very rare.

Anderson used the platinum and gum-bichromate processes, but the vast majority of his work appeared in photogravure. In 1931, Frank Roy Fraprie, the editor of the American Annual of Photography declared that all of Anderson’s exhibition pictures were gravures that the photographer printed himself. His obituary in the British Journal Photographic Almanac 1939 called him the finest exponent of photogravure for pictorial work and noted that he was always ready to help others with the process. In 1903, Anderson was elected to the Linked Ring Brotherhood, England’s most exclusive group of pictorialists, after which time his softly-rendered images were exhibited and reproduced extensively. Among the international salons that accepted his prints were those in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Montreal, St. Louis, and Los Angeles. Reproductions of his photographs appeared in the American Annual of Photography from 1930 to 1935. In England, the leading annual, Photograms of the Year, included his work in 1901, 1904, and every year between 1910 and 1938, an unusually heavy concentration. [1]

The charm of a good photogravure is undeniable, and any photographic picture that is perfectly rendered in this beautiful medium gains a hundredfold in artistic quality. When however, photographs that are already notable examples of pictorial composition and tonality are printed in photogravure by one pf the foremost exponents of the process, the results are well worth seeing by everyone interested in photography as an art. An exhibition of the work of this character is now on view at the Camera Club, 17, John Street, Adelphi, W.C. It consists of fifty-six fine examples of photographs in photogravure by Mr. John H. Anderson, one of the few amateurs in this country who has specialized in the process. His prints are well known to regular visitors to the London Salon and from reproductions in this journal, and we feel we are safe in saying that every one of the prints now on view at the Camera Club would hold its own in any collection of pictorial art. To the uninitiated. These beautiful prints will come as an eye-opener as to what photography is capable of in the hands of an artist who uses his camera as a means to an end. [2]


[1] Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 

[2] The Amateur Photographer and Photography, May 12