Notes: A striking gelatin silver print of an Alaskan Inuit woman looking directly into the camera and wearing a hooded fur parka.
Two elements make this an unusual Nowell portrait. First, it is a studio image and the vast majority of his pictures of Inuits are taken on location. Second, this image is not captioned in the negative, as is usually the case for his commercial prints, which usually have captions like "Eskimo Bell." Whatever the circumstances behind this picture were, the subject stares back at the camera and the viewer as an equal.
Nowell (1864–1960) worked in Nome, Alaska, from 1901 to 1909. In 1909, he moved his studio to Seattle. This image is not included in the online catalog of Nowell's work at the University of Washington.
Image: 5-1/2 by 7-1/4 inches plus a white border; mount: 8-3/4 by 10-3/4 inches. The mount is paperboard covered with gray paper on both sides. The photographer's F. H. Nowell | Nome, Alaska mark is embossed in white in the lower left corner.
Edition + Condition: The image is excellent, with strong contrast and great tonal range. The mount has two small chips along the top edge, but is otherwise near fine. In raking light, a bit of silvering is visible in the blackest areas of the image.
Publication: Nome, Alaska: F. T. Nowell, [ca. 1905].
Item No: #360833