Pictures & Sound

Gallery of Images

Date: 15 April 1887
Place: New York
Photographer: George C. Cox
Note: On the morning of 15 April 1887, George Cox took several photographs of Whitman, who was celebrating the success of his New York lecture on Lincoln, delivered the day before. Whitman recalls that "six or seven" photos were made during the session, but Whitman's friend Jeannette Gilder, an observer of the session, said there were many more than that: "He must have had twenty pictures taken, yet he never posed for a moment. He simply sat in the big revolving chair and swung himself to the right or to the left, as Mr. Cox directed, or took his hat off or put it on again, his expression and attitude remaining so natural that no one would have supposed he was sitting for a photograph." A few months later, Whitman was angry that Cox apparently was selling copies of the photos with forged signatures and was refusing to send Whitman copies of the proofs to allow Whitman to decide which ones should be printed, but the problem was straightened out and Cox began sending Whitman modest payments for the sale of photos. By October 1888, Whitman was calling Cox "the premier exception" among photographers and claimed to have received around one hundred dollars in royalties. Cox copyrighted two of the photos from this sitting, the only time he ever did so, apparently to protect Whitman's financial interest in them, and he sold the photos only to aid Whitman. Until now, only seven photos from this session have been known to exist; this collection adds five more, bringing the total to twelve.
Type: Print
Credit: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin
ID: 097

Image 097


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