The Glen at Raven Rock Williams, James Leon  (American, 1852-1932)

James Leon Williams was a dentist, scientist, scholar, artist, and philosopher. While he is most noted as the first to discover plaque and the inventor of modern dentures, he was also a photographer of considerable ability, using photographic techniques for both artistic and scientific purposes. As a scientist, his microphotographic research confirmed the relationship between bacteria and tooth decay. As an artist, he was amongst the few American photographers to fully recognize the photogravure process as not only a technique for reproducing photographs, but an artform in its own right. Williams’ work is most akin to the school of photography founded by Peter Henry Emerson, where creating an atmospheric composition with soft peripheral focus would most closely resemble nature. He produced two fine photogravure picture books, The Home and haunts of Shakespeare (1892), and The land of Sleepy Hollow and the home of Washington Irving (1887). His work on the home of Washington Irving was a collaborative effort with the well known Irving illustrator, Felix Darley. The book celebrates the work of Washington Irving, his literary importance and enduring popularity.


James Leon Williams: Dentist, Photographer, Philosopher cited 10/22/22