1920: Thomas Shields Clarke Leaves his Autochromes




The Autochrome Lumièrepatented in 1903 by the brothers Lumière in France and first marketed in 1907was the first method of making color photographs, and quickly become popular among amateur photographers like Thomas Shields Clarke, an American painter and sculptor born in Pittsburgh in 1860.

Clarke had established a studio called Fernbrook in Lenox, Massachusetts in 1904, where he worked during the summer months. He died in 1920, and his Autochromes eventually found a home in the archives of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Artswhere they were recently rediscovered by Barbara Katus, a photographer of the Academy’s art collection. (Sources here and here.)

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