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John William Draper
Portrait of Dorothy Catherine Draper
1839-1840 (original) 1893 (copy)
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Kenneth E. Behring Center, Division of Information Technology and Communications, Image ID dorothy-catherine-72.72.B1in-case
Believed to be the first photographic portrait made in the United States, this portrait of Dorothy Catherine Draper was originally taken by her brother Dr. John W. Draper (1811-1882) in his Washington Square studio at the New York University in 1839 or 1840, within the first year of Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre's announcement in Paris of his invention of the daguerreotype process. Identified as a copy daguerreotype, this reproduction was made by Draper's son Daniel when the original was displayed at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. The original daguerreotype was damaged during an attempt at restoration early in the 1930s.