F. Holland Day
This book brings the beautiful and controversial images of the esoteric camera artist Fred Holland Day back to the attention of the international audience which was both thrilled and scandalized by this same work in 1900. Fred Holland Day (1864-1933) was born in South Dedham, Massachusetts, into a family of wealth and social responsibility. By 1900 he was, with Alfred Stieglitz, the most influential champion and practitioner of art photography in America and Europe. Day, because of the challenging nature of much of his subject matter–sacred religious themes, draped and nude male figures–enjoyed a slightly edgier and more heightened reputation. Influenced by William Morris, Day established a publishing house in Boston in 1893 encouraging young and unusual authors, among them Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde. At the same time he was becoming ever more involved in photography, sometimes using as models the talented immigrant boys whose education he sponsored, most notably the young Lebanese immigrant Kahlil Gibran. In 1904 Day’s studio burned, destroying his negatives; the photographs in museums today are from Day’s home or friends’ collections, especially Stieglitz and the British photographer Frederick Evans.