Approved biography for Martha Hale Harvey
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)
Martha Hale Harvey was active as an artist and naturalistic photographer around Gloucester, Massachusetts, from the 1880s to the 1930s. Born and bred there, she lived most of her adult life in the nearby village of Annisquam, on Ipswich Bay.
In 1886, Harvey went to Holland to study painting with her new husband, George Wainwright Harvey. Upon returning, they set up and maintained adjoining studios, influencing each otherís work and treating many of the same subjects. They earned their living painting and photographing the landscape and people of Cape Anne, where Winslow Homer also spent much time in the 1880s.
Harvey extensively photographed the area, turning her sensitive eye on the surf, harbors, fishing schooners, sailing vessels, landmarks (like lighthouses and churches), and the inhabitants (both as personalities and types). Working with an 8-x-10-inch camera allowed her to produce large platinum prints, always delicate in tone and strong in composition. She occasionally even worked after dark, photographing moody coves by moonlight. Content to make images for only herself and the buying public, she apparently did not join any area camera clubs or participate in exhibitions. Martha Hale Harvey outlived her husband by nearly twenty years, dying in 1949.
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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