The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art has recently purchased a very rare daguerreotype of St. George’s, which will go on display shortly, as Bernews.com reports.
It is, in all likelihood, one of the earliest known photographic images of the island, said a Masterworks spokesman.
“We are confident Henry Whittemore, who was an itinerant American daguerreotypist and travelled throughout North and South America as well as the Caribbean in the mid 1800s, made this daguerreotype in 1855,” said the spokesman.
“We have found a number of [19th century] advertisements and articles such as ‘January 2, 1855-H.Whittemore has returned to Bermuda to solicit the patronage of the Public, and is fully prepared with Stock and Apparatus to take every variety of DAGURREOTYPE and PHOTOGRAPH…. specimens of work. … will be EXHIBITED FREE for a short time in his rooms above Mr. Keanes’s Drug Store’.
“On January 18,1855 an article stated, ‘Mr. Whittemore is now engaged upon a series of PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEWS of BERMUDA for Subscribers…His Excellency the Governor, the Chief Justice, Officers of the Army and Navy and many inhabitants have already subscribed …’
“We also have a copy of Harper’s Daily, March 21,1857 titled ‘Guide to the Somers Islands’ which printed a lithograph of St Georges taken from our daguerreotype. This was common practice in the early years of photography and enabled images of far-flung places to be available to the public.”
In 1839, photography was invented almost simultaneously by Jacques Daguerre in France and, later that year, by William Fox Talbot in England.
“This find by Masterworks is a view of St. Georges and is one of the earliest known photographs of Bermuda , given the process was only invented 16 years earlier,” said the spokesman for the Botanical Gardens museum. “This is a ‘must-see’ — history has been made!”
For the original report go to http://bernews.com/2013/04/masterworks-discovers-one-of-earliest-photos-of-bermuda/