For this weeks Sepia Saturday I give you two cabinet cards of a lovely unknown girl. Both were taken at Baker's Art Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, date unknown.
Since I can't do any research about the young girl, I find I can do some on Baker's Art Gallery which may lead us to make some conclusions about the girl.
Baker's Art Gallery was founded by Lorenzo Marvin Baker. I have found the following biographies:
Lorenzo Marvin Baker (1834-1924). Photographer, born in Copenhagen, New York, April 20, 1834, and active in Columbus (Franklin) format the early 1860s until about 1897. Baker's Art Gallery eventually employed two of his sons, Lorenzo N. and Duane Henry Baker, as well as Jon Samuel Schneider, and was the best-known portrait studio in the state capital until well into the twentieth-century. Between 1874 and 1886, nearly thirty first and second Ohio State Fair prizes went to L. M. Baker for photographs of every description, both plain and finished in watercolor or ink. In later years, the firm made a speciality of commercial work and genre scenes (some of which were shown at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition), and continued successfully until the mid-1950s, when it finally closed. It's founder died in Columbus on February 26, 1924. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)L. M. BAKER of Baker's Art Gallery, came to Columbus, in 1854 and became a clerk in a store, and later at the Neil House; was an officer at the penitentiary under Governor Chase; served a short time in the army during- the late unpleasantness; went into the photograph business in 1862, and the net year established the present gallery, of which he has been the head ever since. Baker's Art Gallery has the finest are rooms in Ohio, and it is a demonstrated fact that the work of the artists are the best produced in the United States. They were awarded the gold medal for the best specimens of photographs exhibited at the Semi-Centennial at Boston and at the World's Fair at Chicago. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
His son Duane H. Baker:
DUANE HENRY BAKER (1859-1934). Photographer, active in Columbus (Franklin) from 1878 until at least 1909. A son of Lrenzo Marvin Baker, he was born in Columbus in October 1859, and he worked in his father's studio for more than twenty years before gradually taking over the firms' business affairs early in the twentieth century. He later passed the Baker Art Gallery on to his son Lorenzo P. Paker. Duane Henry Baker died in Columbus on April 19, 1934. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)DUANE H. BAKER, of Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus. Son of L. M. Baker. Finished his education at the Ohio State University, and has since been connected with Baker's Art Gallery, he being business manager and owning a third interest. Was a veteran member of the Columbus Cadets, six years a member of Governor's Guards. Socially a K. of P. and an Elk. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
And the third partner in the business, John Samuel Schneider:
JOHN SAMUEL SCHNEIDER (1860-1926). Photographer, active in Columbus (Franklin) from 1880 to 1912 or later. Born in Galion (Crawford), January 31, 1860, Schneider attended German Wallace College, Berea (Cuyahoga), and trained two years with William H. Moore, then worked under George William Edmondson in NOrwalk (Huron). In 1880 he settled in Columbus, where he was part owner and principal camera operator of Duane H. and Lorenzo Marvin Baker's studio from 1886 until well into the twentieth century. IN 1901 he served as president of the National Photographer's Association and was elected several times to head the Ohio State Photographer's Association. Some of his carefully posed genre scenes were shown at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)JOHN S. SCHNIEDER, Of Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus. Son of Rev. John S. Schnieder; completed his education at the German Wallace College, Berea; began as a photographer at Marion and after a short time at Norwalk came to Columbus as one of Baker's staff and in 1886 acquired a third interest in the business. He is in charge of the operating rooms. (SOURCE: Ohio American Local History Nework)
And then there was the youngest son, Lorenzo N. Baker, who was not a partner in the gallery:
LORENZO N. BAKER *1861-1905). Photographer, born in Columbus (Frannklin), December 16, 1861, the younger brother of Duane Henry Baker and second sone of Lorenzo Marvin Baker and his wife, Samantha. He worked in this father's Art Gallery during the 1880s, but by 1890 he had established his own business in Piqua (Miami). In 1899 he was again listed at the family home in Columbus, where he died, February 10, 1905. (SOURCE: Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900)
The two photos I have are blank on the back, but here's an example of their advertising on an earlier card showing their studio.
(SOURCE: Sheaf -Ephemera)
Here is an actual photo of the Gallery from the Ohio Historical Society files.
Here is a photo of the front display window.
And here's a shot of their reception room.
The two photos above are from a vintage book, The Photographic Journal of America, Vol. 31, which can be read here at Google Books. It's quite interesting to read.
What I really find fascinating about Baker's Art Gallery are some of the famous names and otherwise interesting folks that walked through their door:
And then several portraits of a particular family.
So, this leaves me with a few questions and possible facts.
It's likely our lovely young girl walked through the Baker's reception room and possibly met one of the men shown above. Now, was she simply a well off young lady who posed twice at the studio or was she an actress who brought a change of clothes for a one time sitting?
Both of these images of the young girl are from Bert's collection. Thank you Bert!