Reverend William T. Smithett

1853
Southworth and Hawes (American, active 1843–62)


Dimensions

Image: 20.3 x 15.2 cm (8 x 6 in.) Plate: 21.9 x 16.6 cm (8 5/8 x 6 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

43.1391

Medium or Technique

Photograph, daguerreotype

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

The Boston photographic team of Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes mastered a style of daguerreotype portraiture that defined the spirit and idealism of a generation of accomplished Americans. They exploited the qualities of their chosen technique, using the mirrorlike sharpness and detail of the daguerreotype to portray the clear vision and idealistic fervor of the Reverend Smithett. Here, every detail counts, from Smithett’s wild hair to the tense grip of his right hand. His intent gaze looks beyond the picture, and the crisp white and black of his surplice and stole highlight a powerful, upright body that emanates confidence and certainty in that distant vision.

Inscription

Verso of plate: "Bishop Eastborn?"

Markings

U. l. plate maker mark: "Doublé/J. P." Spirit of Fact #9.

Provenance

Edward Southworth Hawes; gift to MFA December 9, 1943.

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Southworth Hawes in memory of his father Josiah Johnson Hawes