1Gordon Parks, Half Past Autumn: Gordon Parks, exhibit of photography, film, music, and poetry (Washington: Corcoran Museum of Art, 1997).

     2"We were more or less the exclusive photographers for Howard University, and we were hired mostly through the Office of Public Relations, but we were also hired by the various Departments to photograph their Deans, etc., that appear right now in the halls of the Administration Building, or Douglass Hall. . . . It was taken for granted. Custom. Custom. No contract. I guess they could have gone to Harris & Ewing, who was a big photographer at that time, big White photographer downtown. We had no contract, but we did ninety-five percent of the work, I would say, at Howard, both portrait work and commercial work. And news work if you wanted to separate commercial from news". George Scurlock, interview by author, November 27, 1995, Silver Spring, Maryland, tape recording, "Scurlock Studio Oral History Project."

     3One could quibble that France's Joseph Nicephore Niepce and his brother Claude, who began in 1815 to try to invent a photographic version of the newly invented printing technique of "lithography", itself created in Germany in 1798, made the first photograph when, in 1815, they successfully produced a camera image on a chemically-treated lithographic stone. In practical terms, what they had produced was an extremely difficult-to-see image that took eight hours to expose. Niepce would, upon the death of his brother, enter into a partnership with Daguerre which would result in Daguerre's 1839 success and fame. Joel Snyder, "inventing Photography," On The Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of photography, Sarah Greenough, Joel Snyder, David Travis, Colin Westerbeck, eds., (Washington: National Gallery of Art, Bullfinch Press, 1989), 3-15.

     4A Mr. S. Rush Seibert makes a case for a Mr. George West as the "first man to make salable daguerreotypes in 1842 in Washington, D.C." Busby, however, concludes his talk by affirming Plumbe as the first, although not any earlier than 1843, the process having only just been invented in 1839. Busby, Samuel C., M.D., "Early History of Daguerreotypy in the City of Washington," Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., Volume 3, (1900): 83, 94-95.

     5Donna M. Wells, interview by author, in reference to talks given in 1996 on the subject. Washington, D.C., telephone, December 10, 1996.

     6Deborah Willis-Thomas, Black Photographers, 1840-1940: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1985).


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