Michael Francis Blake Photographs, 1912-1934
The collection consists of the contents of a photographic album entitled "Portraits of Members," containing 117 photographs of men, women, and children, both singly and in groups. The album might have been used by clients in the studio to select the backdrop and props they wanted in their photographs. The majority of the subjects appear to be African-American. The photographs represent the work of Michael Francis Blake from the 1910s to his death in 1934.
The predominant style of the photographs is the formal studio pose, though there are some informal snapshots included in the album. Ninety-one of the images are photographic postcards and the others are either mounted photographs or snapshots. Some photographs were taken outdoors in front of a backdrop and with props such as rugs, chairs and plants to recreate a "studio" portrait.
Subjects in thirty-five of the photographs have been identified, including one photograph of Michael Francis Blake. The Charleston Museum holds the original negatives of the prints. The collection includes original prints, copy prints made from original negatives and eight negatives.
Copyright and Citation
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[Identification of item], Michael Francis Blake Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.