General: Title from album caption. Historical: Ernest Goodrich Stillman, the son of American financier and banker James Stillman, earned his BA from Harvard in 1908 and his MD from Columbia in 1913. He worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1915-1949. A generous benefactor of Harvard University, he had many interests, including photography and collecting Japanese art and literature. Regarded as the most famous Western photographer in Japan, Felice (or Felix) Beato arrived in Yokohama in 1863. Because of his military and diplomatic connections, he was able to travel and take photographs of places that were otherwise closed to foreigners. In 1866, a fire destroyed his studio and he reportedly spent several months early the next year taking new photographs that he published in the 1868 landmark two-volume Photographic Views of Japan with Historical and Descriptive Notes. In 1877, Beato sold his studio, stock, and negatives to Baron Raimund von Stillfried. He left Japan penniless in 1884. Beato’s landscape views, genre works, and studio portraits established a precedent that influenced later Meiji era photographers. Provenance: Gift of E.G. Stillman to Widener Library, 1934, later transferred to the Fine Arts Library.
part of E.G. Stillman Japanese Collection part of Early Photography of Japan