William M. Vander Weyde
William M. Vander Weyde (American 1871-1929)

In the 1890’s faster films, better lenses, hand cameras, and the availability of commercial developing and printing services not only made it much easier to make photographs, but to make photographs that captured a wider range of events of everyday life. This fueled a huge explosion in photographic practice; first by significantly expanding the number of amateur photographers and then by irrevocably altering and expanding the nature and practices of professional photography. A greatly expanded world of images—very different in concept and in form-suddenly became an inextricable part of the visual world.

William Vander Weyde, working as a professional photographer in New York at the turn of the century, was part of this turn in photographic practice. His photographs are strong and exciting and show a rejection of traditional ideas of composition, content and style. They show his willingness to photograph everything from baseball to executions, and offer a fascinating look into the past.

The scanned negatives shown in this set are a small selection from a much larger collection of 1400 glass plate negatives held in the photography collection at George Eastman House.
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