F. Holland Day, Imperial Masculinity, and the Intimacy of Photography

Prepping a talk on F. Holland Day for a symposium. Here is my co-panelist, Shawn Michelle Smith’s take on him.

The Photographic Situation

Shawn Michelle Smith reflects on F. Holland Day’s exotic look and intimate looking

In the spring of 1901, F. Holland Day arrived unannounced at Frederick Evans’s studio in London, wearing a burnoose.  Evans invited him in to be photographed, and the two collaborated in making a series of intimate portraits of Day in Algerian dress.[i]  The portraits correspond to the height of Day’s international prominence as promoter and practitioner of the New American School of photography, a movement devoted to establishing photography as an art form through Pictorialist aesthetics.  After receiving mixed reviews in London, Day’s New American School exhibition was a huge success at the Photo-Club of Paris in the spring of 1901.  The exhibition showcased the work of Clarence White, Edward Steichen, and Day himself, among others, and included images from Day’s sacred series and his so-called “Nubian” series.  After the exhibition closed in Paris, Day and his young…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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