|Dates: ||1870 - 1955|
Approved biography for A. Radclyffe Dugmore
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)
Irish-born Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore was a naturalist and a hunter, who expressed himself as an artist, photographer, and author. The subject of all his creative work was the natural world, primarily its animals.
Dugmore was not primarily a pictorialist, but Alfred Stieglitz included one of his images—of small birds perched on a branch—in the very first issue (January 1903) of his deluxe periodical Camera Work. Stieglitz explained in his editorial notes, "Mr. A. Radclyffe Dugmore in this bird picture, which unquestionably will appeal to all tastes, shows that even scientific subjects may be given pictorial worth without loss to their scientific value."
Dugmore was active among pictorialists during much of the first decade of the twentieth century. In January 1902, he was elected to membership in the Camera Club of New York, the country’s leading enclave of artistic photographers. He exhibited in the club’s 1902 landscape competition show and twice in its annual members’ presentations. His photographs were also seen in the Royal Photographic Society’s annual exhibition of 1903, in London, and in the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905, in Portland, Oregon. Stieglitz continued his support of Dugmore’s photographs in Camera Work, including another photogravure by him, picturing fish, in the January 1907 issue.
Major Dugmore, as he sometimes called himself, traveled far and wide to gather material for his photographs, art, and books. Among his destinations were Corsica, Egypt, Kenya, Khartoum, Newfoundland, and the Sudan. He made etchings and oil paintings, usually picturing wild animals. And, he also illustrated popular magazines, such as Country Life in America, designing its cover four times in 1906 alone.
Dugmore wrote about twenty books, addressing wildlife, his exotic adventures, and photographic technique. Some went through multiple printings, editions, and languages. His three photography books were Nature and the Camera (1902), Camera Adventures in the African Wilds (1910), and Wildlife and the Camera (1912). Among his articles for photographers were "Effective Lighting in Bird Photography," appearing, along with his photogravure, in the first issue of Camera Work, and two he wrote for the American Annual of Photography, in 1909 and 1911. In 1907 and 1908, he penned a thirteen-part series on "The Amateur Photographer," for Country Life in America.
In 1930, Dugmore wrote an autobiography, and three years a biography on him appeared—Rolling Stone: The Life and Adventures of Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore, by Lowell Thomas. Dugmore died in 1955.
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 1 June 2013.
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