Approved biography for W. Doval Le Sage
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)
W. Dovel Le Sage was born in Huntington, West Virginia, where he lived for most of his life. He studied law, accounting, and business administration at the University of Virginia and Ohio State University, and then returned to his hometown to work at the Appalachian Electrical Company.
Shortly after assuming editorial responsibility for the electric companyís monthly staff bulletin in 1930, he bought a camera in order to take pictures for the job. About this time, he met Nicholas Boris, who introduced him to pictorial photography and became a friend. In 1934, Le Sage became the founding president of the Camera Associates of Huntington, a position he kept for three years. He was a member of Englandís Royal Photographic Society by 1935, when he established an annual cash award for the groupís best still life photograph, which subsequently entered its permanent collection. In January 1949, he wrote an article for thePSA Journal, in which he promoted the study of old master painters and criticized modernist influences in pictorial photography. The next year, the Photographic Society of America appointed him pictorial editor of its journal.
Le Sage focused almost exclusively on still life photography. Using a 5-x-7-inch view camera, he made classic images that usually included vases, plates, and flowers. He exhibited these prints from about 1933 to 1941, usually in ten or more salons a year. Among the places accepting them were Buffalo, Chicago, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Princeton, Rochester, St. Petersburg, San Antonio, Wilmington, Ottawa, and Tokyo. Reproductions of his still lifes appeared in American Photography, the American Annual of Photography 1939, and the Album of Pictures, published by Bostonís S.D. Warren Company in 1939 to promote the papers it manufactured for printing presses.
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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