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.

Also see: Catalog record for Michael Francis Blake photographs.

The materials in this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. Texts and images from this collection may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission from Duke University.

All copyrights that exist in this material have not been transferred to Duke University. When use is made of these texts and images, it is the responsibility of the user to obtain additional permissions as necessary and to observe the stated access policy, the laws of copyright and the educational fair use guidelines.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Michael Francis Blake Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

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