Henry Frederick Evans

(1853—1943) bookseller and photographer

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(1853–1943), English pictorialist photographer. A London bookseller who counted Shaw and Beardsley among his customers and friends, Evans became interested in photography in 1880, won an award for microscopic studies of shells in 1887, and devoted himself fully to his art from 1898. At the turn of the century he joined the Linked Ring Brotherhood and became involved in mounting its annual exhibitions (1902–5). But his role in pictorialism also extended across the Atlantic: he became the first British contributor to Stieglitz's Camera Work (1903) and went on to exhibit at Gallery 291 in New York. Specializing in platinum prints, he gained a reputation as a purist, for whom the retouching and manipulation of an image was unthinkable. Though he took some portraits (including a striking one of Beardsley) and landscapes, it was as an architectural photographer that he became best known: French and English cathedrals were his favourite subjects, and his handling of mass, height, and depth was rich in atmosphere. After the First World War, when platinum became impossibly expensive, he gave up photography.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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