Photography in Northfield during the late 1800s was a booming business. In addition to numerous traveling photographers passing through, by 1890 the town was home to at least three studios. Ira E. Sumner and Edward N. James were among the most talented of this group of artists, and many photographs in the NHS collection bear the names of these two prolific men.
Because of the nature of photographic materials and technology, the majority of early photographs are group and individual portraits. Later photographers took advantage of more portable equipment and faster techniques to capture urban scenes, landscapes, events, and more casual snapshots of daily life. These trends in early photography are reflected in the images by Sumner and James that have been selected from the society’s vast collection.
Ten photos from the Sumner and James collections have been reproduced in large format for this exhibit, and a number of historic photographs, negatives, and equipment also will be on view. In addition, for a limited time visitors will be able to take their own photographs in front of a period backdrop replica in our recreated photographer’s studio.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Northfield News, KYMN Radio, and Bridgette Hallcock Photography. It will run through September.