Frank W. Birchall and Pictorial Photography in Boston

Patricia J. Fanning, Bridgewater State University

Project Description/Abstract

Frank W. Birchall (1857-1916) was a photographer with a studio located on Tremont St. in Boston from 1890 to 1905. In the Birchall Photo Collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society I have recently discovered negatives of images attributed to F. Holland Day, Gertrude Käsebier, and Francis Watts Lee, all important pictorial photographers at the turn of the 20th century. I believe Birchall may well have processed some of these negatives per the photographers’ instructions or allowed the use of his studio by them. I plan to conduct further research on Birchall and his relationship to these pioneer artistic photographers. With this grant funding I could obtain high quality digital images of several glass plate negatives in the Birchall Collection for research purposes and to use as illustrations for presentation and publication opportunities.