Doris Ulmann photographs, 1914-1934  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Ulmann, Doris, 1882-1934
Title
Doris Ulmann photographs
Dates
1914-1934 (bulk)
1914-2010 (inclusive)
Quantity
69.8 linear feet, (152 containers (15 flat boxes, 28 flat legal clamshells, 1 phase box, 108 negative boxes))
Collection Number
PH038
Summary
Doris Ulmann (1822-1934) was a New York photographer. The collection consists of vintage prints, proof prints bound in albums, and glass-plate negatives primarily featuring portraits of notable people, craftspeople, and farmers. The collection also includes reference prints and negatives reproduced from Ulmann's original negatives.
Repository
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
97403-1299
Telephone: 541-346-3068
spcarref@uoregon.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.

Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Glass plate negatives and lantern slides are restricted due to the fragility of the format. All decisions regarding use will be at the discretion of the curator for visual materials.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Doris Ulmann (1882-1934) was born in New York City. In 1900 she was enrolled in the school of the Ethical Culture Society. After graduation, Ulmann enrolled at Columbia University's Teacher's College where she fell under the tutelage of photography instructor Clarence H. White. White was a founding member of Photo-Secession in 1902 and a recognized leader of the Pictorialist movement. Though sympathetic to Pictorialism, Ulmann began to depart from its standard form in her photographic work.

By 1918 she began to pursue portraiture as her primary focus. Using her Park Avenue apartment as a studio, Ulmann photographed many well-known writers, intellectuals, and artists. Ulmann's work was featured in several fine press books: Twenty-four Portraits of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University (1920), A Book of Portraits of the Medical Department of Johns Hopkins University (1922), and A Portrait Gallery of American Editors (1925).

Ulmann's initial reputation was built upon her portraiture of prominent sitters, but the major work of her life involved photographing rural people of the South. By 1925, Ulmann began to take trips outside of New York City in search of subjects. These outings led her to photograph Dunkard, Mennonite, and Shaker communities in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. During this period Ulmann traveled to the Southern Highlands region of Kentucky where she took thousands of photographs in rural, isolated communities. These images were published in Allen Eaton's book, Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands (1934). Ulmann also photographed the Gullahs of the Sea Islands and tidewater areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Seventy-two of these images appear in Julia Peterkin's Roll, Jordan, Roll (1934).

Until her death she made yearly trips to photograph in remote regions of Appalachia with her assistant John Jacob Niles. Doris Ulmann died on August 28, 1934.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Series 1: Prints includes 304 original matted prints. Of these prints, approximately half are platinum prints that were mounted and signed by Ulmann; the others are silver gelatin prints developed by Samuel H. Lifshey, a New York commercial photographer, after Ulmann's death at the request of the Ulmann Foundation. The prints are 6.5 x 8.5" mounted onto approximately 11.5 x 14.25" boards with window mats.

The subject matter of the prints includes portraits in studio settings of famous figures and of rural residents from Appalachia and the South. The matted prints are organized into subseries based on the depicted setting and project: 1.1: Studio portraits and 1.2: Rural photography. Many of these portraits appear in Ulmann's published books of photogravures and these are described in 1.1 Studio portraits when available. Many of the celebrity portraits also include an inscription and signature of the sitter on the front of the mat.

Prints in Subseries 1.2: Rural photography generally have no formal titles assigned by Ulmann and includes some still lifes and landscapes in addition to the portraits. In both subseries, names of sitters have been described when available.

Series 2: Albums includes 81 albums containing over 10,000 proof prints assembled by the Doris Ulmann Foundation. These proof prints were printed between 1934 and 1937 by S. H. Lifshey after Ulmann's death from her original glass plate negatives. The albums were annotated with dates of capture and sitter's names by the Ulmann Foundation.

Series 3: Secondary material primarily includes copy reference prints and negatives reproduced from Ulmann's glass negatives after the collection was acquired by UO Libraries. These are organized by creator, including prints and negatives created by David Featherstone and prints, negatives, and slides created by UO Libraries or unnamed creators.

David Featherstone (b. 1945) is the author of Doris Ulmann: American portraits (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1985) and the prints in this series were created during his research on the book. There are 383 prints of 100 images and 10 negatives by Featherstone. This series also includes a twenty-first century portrait of one of Ulmann's sitters, Frances Stiles Whitener, in her old age holding Ulmann's photos of her as a youth.

Series 4: Negatives includes glass plate negatives. These are the only remaining known Ulmann negatives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Doris Ulmann photographs, PH038_[item number], Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Alternative Forms Available

Selected items are available online in the Doris Ulmann photographs, 1920s-1934 in Oregon Digital.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Prints, 1916-1934Return to Top

This series includes 304 original matted prints. Of these prints, approximately half are platinum prints that were mounted and signed by Ulmann; the others are silver gelatin prints developed by S. H. Lifshey, a New York commercial photographer, after Ulmann's death at the request of the Ulmann Foundation. The majority of the prints are 6.5 x 8.5" mounted onto 11.5 x 14.25" boards with window mats.

The content of the prints primarily include portraits in studio settings of famous figures and of rural residents from Appalachia and the South.

This series is arranged into subseries based on the depicted setting and project including Studio portraits and Rural photography.
Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1.1: Studio portraits
This subseries includes portraits of famous or celebrity figures and portraits taken in a formal studio setting. Many of these portraits appear in Ulmann's published books of photogravures and these are described when available. Many of the studio portraits also include an inscription and signature of the sitter on the front of the mat.
Studio portraits are arranged into headings by title of publication when possible. Within headings, items are arranged alphabetically by name of sitter where identifiable.
1916-1931
The Faculty of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University in the City of New York
1916-1919
Box Folder
1 1
Burton-Opitz, Russell
1918
1 1
Butler, Nicholas M.
1918
1 1
Darrach, William
circa 1918
1 2
Fordyce, John A.
1919
1 2
Gies, William J.
1918
1 3
Hibbs, Russell A.
1919
1 3
Huntington, George S.
1918
1 4
Jacobi, Abraham
1916
1 4
Jobling, James W.
1918
1 4
Lambert, Adrian V. S.
1919
1 5
Lambert, Samuel W.
circa 1918
1 5
Longcope, Warfield T.
1919
1 6
Painter, Harry McMahon
1918
1 6
Palmer, Walter W.
1918
1 7
Prudden, T. Mitchell
1918
1 7
Starr, M. Allen
circa 1918
1 7
Tilney, Frederick
1918
1 8
Weir, Robert F.
1918
1 8
Wood, Francis Carter
1918
1 8
Zinsser, Hans
1919
A Book of Portraits of the Faculty of the Medical Department of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
1919-1922
Box Folder
2 1
Bloodgood, Joseph C.
circa 1922
2 1
Cullen, Thomas S.
circa 1922
2 2
Goodnow, Frank J.
circa 1922
2 2
Hooker, Donald Russell
circa 1922
2 2
Jones, Walter
1922
2 2
Smith, Winford H.
circa 1922
2 3
Theobald, Samuel
circa 1922
2 1
Abel, John J.
1919
2 3
Welch, William H.
circa 1922
2 3
Williams, John Whitridge
circa 1922
2 3
Young, Hugh H.
circa 1922
A Portrait Gallery of American Editors
1923-1925
Box Folder
2 4
Abbott, Lawrence F.
circa 1925
2 4
Davis, Robert H.
circa 1925
2 4
Hapgood, Norman
1923
2 5
Herford, Oliver
circa 1925
2 5
Hoffman, Arthur Sullivant
circa 1925
2 5
Long, Ray
circa 1925
2 6
Villard, Oswald Garrison
circa 1925
2 6
Van Doren, Carl
circa 1925
2 6
Walsh, Richard J.
circa 1925
General
1916-1931
Box Folder
2 7
Adler, F.
1916
2 7
Alexander, ---
circa 1916-1925
2 7
Axson, Stockton
1919
2 8
Barnard, George Grey
circa 1916-1925
2 8
Bastedo, W. A.
1918
2 8
Bhattacharjee, Debendra Nath
1919
2 9
Borglum, Gutzon
circa 1916-1925
2 9
Bowlby, Sir Anthony
circa 1916-1925
3 1
Carrel, Alexis
1919
3 1
Casamajor, Louis
circa 1916-1925
3 2
Casey, F. D.
circa 1916-1925
3 2
Coronil, A.
1917
3 2
Cobb, Irvin S.
circa 1916-1925
3 3
Cook, Ansel G.
1919
3 3
Coolidge, Calvin
circa 1924
3 3
Cottle, Shubart and J------ S------
1918
3 3
Cunliffe, John William
1917
3 4
Einstein, Albert
circa 1922-1930
3 4
Eliot, Charles W.
1920
3 5
Elliott, John Lovejoy
1917
3 5
Fineman, Irving
1931
3 6
Galloway, Herbert P. H.
1919
3 7
Gerster, Arpad G.
Includes an original etching by Dr. Gerster, "The Hermit of Raquette Lake," 1892.
1916
3 7
Gibney, Virgil P.
circa 1916-1925
3 8
Gibran, Khalil
1917
3 8
Gl---sh, Bernard
1919
3 9
Goldthwait, Joel E.
1919
3 9
Grausm--, T. M.
1916
3 9
---gruff, J. G.
circa 1916-1925
3 10
Henerl---, O.
circa 1916-1925
3 10
Harrison, Richard Berry
circa 1916-1925
3 10
H-lding, S.
circa 1916-1925
3 10
Ito, Michio
1919
4 1
Jacoby, George W.
circa 1916-1925
4 1
Johnson, James Weldon
circa 1916-1925
4 2
Jones, Sir Robert
circa 1916-1925
4 2
Kammerer, Frederic
1916
4 3
Kohler, Kaufmann
circa 1916-1925
4 3
Loeb, Jacques
1918
4 4
MacKaye, Percy
1925
4 4
Matthews, Brander
1925
4 5
Meltzer, Samuel J.
1919
4 5
Meyer, Willy
1916
4 5
Mumford, Lewis
circa 1916-1925
4 6
Noguchi, Hideyo
1919
4 7
Ochtman, Leonard
1919
4 8
-omell, --
circa 1916-1925
4 8
Oppenheimer, Bernard S.
circa 1916-1925
4 8
Pearson, James J.
1919
4 9
Rom---, P. W.
1917
4 9
S--aph, Arnold
1919
4 9
S---dtmiller, --
circa 1916-1925
5 1
Shaffer, Newton M.
1918
5 1
Smith, Stephen
1919
5 2
St---, Byron
circa 1916-1925
5 2
Stetten, Dewitt
1916
5 3
Vaughan, J. C.
1919
5 3
Villiers, Frederic
1919
5 4
Weber, Max
1917
5 4
Whitman, Royal Emerson
1916
Box Folder
5 5-12
Unidentified
circa 1916-1925
Subseries 1.2: Rural photography
This subseries includes matted prints with few titles assigned by Ulmann. It includes some still lifes and landscapes in addition to the bulk of portraits of craftspeople, farmers, and residents of Appalachia and the South. Sitters have been identified when possible through inscriptions.
Rural photography is arranged alphabetically by title or name where identified.
circa 1917-1934
Box Folder
6 1
Anderson, Ned and Sarah Owen Anderson, Saluda, NC
circa 1934
6 1
Campbell, Mr., farmer, Ary, KY
circa 1933
6 1
Connelly, Sarah, weaver-spinner, Brasstown, NC
circa 1933
6 1
Dunkard Woman
circa 1922
6 2
Hatcher, Sarah Alice, quilter, Wears Valley, TN
circa 1933-1934
9
Hensley, Mrs. Bonnie H. Logan and son John
circa 1933
Folder
6 2
Hensley, Hayden, Brasstown, NC
1933
6 3
Hipps Family, Top of Turkey, NC
circa 1934
6 3
Hipps, Mrs. James M., knitter, S. Turkey Creek, NC
circa 1934
6 3
Johnson, Emmadel, Brasstown, NC
circa 1933-1934
6 3
Lakes, Lucy, Berea, KY
circa 1933
6 4
A Land Owner
circa 1917-1934
6 4
Logan, John Drew
1933
6 4
McConny, Mrs Cassie, Mrs. Delia Beardin, Mrs. C. O. Wood, Dalton, GA
circa 1934
6 4
Miller, Old Man, Pine Log, NC
circa 1933-1934
6 5
Niles, John Jacob and Informant, Kingdom Come Valley, KY
1932
6 5
Noah's Ark
circa 1933
6 5
Old Virginia Type
circa 1925-1926
6 5
Owenby, Mary L.
circa 1933-1934
6 6
Pennland, Mrs., Brasstown, NC
1933
6 6
The Pump
circa 1917-1934
6 6
Reed, Jason
circa 1934
6 6
Regan, Aunt Lizzie, weaver, Gatlinburg, TN
circa 1933-1934
6 7
Ritchie, Aunt Cord, basketweaver, Hindman, KY
circa 1933
6 7
Ritchie, Frank and Jason, Clear Creek, Knott County, KY
circa 1933
6 7
Spinning Wheel, Beaver Lake, Asheville, NC
circa 1933-1934
9
Preparing for Baptism
circa 1929-1931
6-10
Unidentified
circa 1917-1934

Series 2:  Albums, circa 1914-1934Return to Top

This series includes 81 albums containing over 10,000 proof prints assembled by the Doris Ulmann Foundation. These proof prints were printed between 1934 and 1937 by S. H. Lifshey after Ulmann's death from her original glass plate negatives. The albums were annotated with dates of capture and sitter's names by the Ulmann Foundation

Albums are arranged numerically by the assigned unique identifier of albums.
Container(s) Description Dates
Box
11
1-3
circa 1914-1934
12
4-6
circa 1914-1934
13
7-9
circa 1914-1934
14
10-12
circa 1914-1934
15
13-15
circa 1914-1934
16
16-18
circa 1914-1934
17
19-21
circa 1914-1934
18
22-24
circa 1914-1934
19
25-27
circa 1914-1934
20
28-30
circa 1914-1934
21
31-33
circa 1914-1934
22
34-36
circa 1914-1934
23
37-39
circa 1914-1934
24
40-42
circa 1914-1934
25
43-45
circa 1914-1934
26
46-48
circa 1914-1934
27
49-51
circa 1914-1934
28
52-53
circa 1914-1934
29
54-55
circa 1914-1934
30
56-58
circa 1914-1934
31
59-60
circa 1914-1934
32
61-62
circa 1914-1934
33
63-65
circa 1914-1934
34
66-67, 69-70a
circa 1914-1934
35
70b-71b
circa 1914-1934
36
72-74
circa 1914-1934
37
75
circa 1914-1934
38
76-79
circa 1914-1934

Series 3:  Secondary material, circa 1954-2010Return to Top

This series primarily includes copy reference prints and negatives reproduced from Ulmann's glass negatives after the collection was acquired by UO Libraries. These are organized by creator, including prints and negatives created by David Featherstone and prints, negatives, and slides created by UO Libraries or unnamed creators.

David Featherstone (b. 1945) is the author of Doris Ulmann: American portraits (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1985) and these prints were created during research on the book. There are 383 prints of 100 images and 10 negatives by Featherstone.

This series also includes a twenty-first century portrait of one of Ulmann's sitters, Frances Stiles Whitener, in her old age holding Ulmann's photos of her as a youth.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
39-40
By David Featherstone
circa 1970-1985
41-43
By UO Libraries and others
circa 1954-2006
Folder
43 3
Portrait of Frances Stiles Whitener
2010

Series 4:  Negatives, circa 1914-1934Return to Top

Container(s): Box 44-152

Access to these materials is restricted due to fragility of glass negatives.

This series includes Ulmann's original glass plate negatives.

Negatives are arranged numerically by unique identifier (enumeration originally assigned by Ulmann Foundation).

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photography, Artistic
  • Portrait photographs