Smithsonian Collections Blog

Highlighting the hidden treasures from over 2 million collections

Collections Search Center

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Season’s Greetings from the Peter A. Juley & Son firm!

Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, J0010313

When he wasn't photographing artists and their artwork, Paul Juley was especially fond of putting his studio to use by creating imaginative and humorous holiday cards for his loved ones. The photo above features his daughter and the family pets. You’ll notice on the bottom edge of the table, Paul has added a few words of warm wishes. 

In addition to writing on the negatives, he also liked to try his hand at photo-manipulation, a popular photography application that had been in practice since the 1860s. You can see from the following sets of photos, some attempts were more successful than others. The first set is from a photo taken on one of the Juley family trips out west. I think he’s done a pretty good job of “ photo-shopping” a bit of snow into the foreground. Long before there were digital images, photographers would often use techniques such as ink or paint retouching, composite negatives, or double exposures to achieve the desired effect. 

This second set may be a type of composite image. Along with the etching at the bottom of the negative, both the Juley's daughter and the family dog have been added to complete the family portrait:

This last photo doesn't appear to have been manipulated too much; perhaps some retouching done around the fireplace. Though, what really caught my eye was the book that the family is reading: Dr. Seuss’s, “Horton Hatches an Egg.” This is a great detail, and really adds to the coziness of the Juley's holiday photo.

Happy holidays!

1 comment:

  1. The Juley's were truly amazing photographers. I have graphite drawings by Edwin Magargee that were photographed by the Juley's along with the Juley's stamp on the back. The family shared their story with me.