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  • Provenance

    The Southworth & Hawes Studio, Boston
    By descent to Edward Southworth Hawes, Boston
    Likely Holman's Print Shop, Boston, early 1940s
    Collection of David Feigenbaum, Boston
    Sotheby's, New York, The David Feigenbaum Collection of Southworth & Hawes and Other 19th-Century Photographs, 27 April 1999, lot 53

  • Literature

    International Center of Photography, Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes, pl. 140

  • Catalogue Essay

    A compassionate and tireless social reformer, Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) devoted herself to improving the lives of the mentally ill and the disabled. Dix traveled the country exposing the deplorable conditions in which the less-fortunate lived and were kept out of public view; her revelations caused a public outcry and resulted in an outpouring of donations to her cause. She petitioned Congress on behalf of those she called “the wards of the nation” to set aside land in trust for their care. A bill to that effect was introduced to Congress and was passed by both houses before ultimately being vetoed by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. Undaunted, Dix continued her crusade, here and abroad in England. The whole-plate daguerreotype offered here is one of six portraits made at Southworth and Hawes’s studio in Boston around 1849 and shows the technical perfection and aesthetic sophistication associated with the photographers’ best portraiture.

135

Seated Portrait of Dorothea Dix

circa 1849
Daguerreotype.
Whole plate

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $15,000

Contact Specialist
Rachel Peart
Specialist
+1 212 940 1246

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245

The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation

New York 3 October 2017