Whitney, Leona 1981-835-14

Bryan R. Johnson’s Portrait Photograph of Leona Whitney, April 17th, 1866

THE PHOTOGRAPHER/ PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO:

Photographer: Bryan R. Johnson (b. c. 1834 New York State)

Active in Petaluma: c. 1863 - c.1867

Biographical Note: Johnson worked as a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist and paper photographer in San Francesco, CA (c.1856-1857); Benicia, CA (1858); Oakland, CA (1860) and Petaluma, CA (c.1863-c.1867).  In 1863 he established “Johnson’s Premium Pioneer Photographic Gallery” in Doyle’s Block Building on Main Street, Petaluma and in1864 relocated his studio to Petaluma’s Phoenix Block. He later returned to the Doyle’s Block this time over the Morris Cigar Store and his cartes de visite from this location bare the imprint, “From B. R. Johnson’s Photographic Establishment, Doyle’s Building, Main Street, Petaluma.” Johnson advertised himself as doing “First Class Work” and his studio as outfitted “in the most splendid style” featuring “the late improved frosted Lites, more generally used in the Eastern Cities.” In 1865 he studied the recent improvements in photography at the gallery of Mathew B. Brady in New York City and then returned to his Petaluma studio where he continued until at least 1867. 

Bibliography: Palmquist, pgs. 325-326; Mautz, pg. 114.

THE SITTER(s):

Name(s): Leona Whitney

Description: Carte de visite of a toddler Leona Whitney sitting. Whitney is sitting in a studio chair with patterned fabric draped over it. She has on a patterned dress with a white smock.

Biographical Note: Leona Whitney died at age 2 years, 6 months, 1866. She was the daughter of Senator Albion P. Whitney and Susan

Eastman. Her siblings are Calvin, Cleora, Nancy Jane, Arthur, Marcella (Ella), Albion H., and Clara.

Family Affiliation:

Bibliography: add, augment

THE PHOTOGRAPH:

Format / Size: carte de visite, approximately 6.25 x 9.25 cm

Medium: albumen photographic print mounted on cardstock

Description, Obverse: (identify group or individual, gender(s); identify pose, furniture & props; describe composition, background, added color…)

Description, Reverse: From B.R. Johnson’s Photographic Establishment, Doyle’s Building, Main Street, Petaluma.; Leona Whitney 2 years old the 17th of April 1866

Date: April 17, 1866

Condition: (note tears, foxing, fading)

Owner:  Petaluma Historical Library & Museum, 1981-835-14

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