Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Gentlemen Photographers" work of Loring and Wm. Lyman Underwood Part I

Part I "Hunting with the Camera"

Industrial heirs Loring and Wm. Lyman Underwood used their privileged elite life to comment photographically on social issues. The Underwood's pictures and books reflected the idea of noblesse oblige- with wealth comes responsibility. Although the brothers' inheritance of a canning business chose their professional lives for them, they used photography to pursue their passion.

Wm. Lyman, concerned with the preservation of America's natural heritage, lectured on hunting and the wilderness. In 1899 he said in a letter, "The rod and gun are alright, but we must use moderation or there will be nothing left for our future generations to hunt after except money." He became absorbed with the sportsman's life-its proper conduct, its pleasures, its meaning in a cultural context. Wm. Lyman became a member of the surrounding Sportsman Associations and eventually, became a lifelong member of the League of American Sportsmen. He was known for "hunting with the camera" and for gathering photographic trophies rather than dead animals. Wm. Lyman became the forefront of a national movement of sportsmen who understood the need to curb their unrestrained slaughter of wildlife in order to keep the sport alive. His early exploration of the Maine woods, and fishing trips at the St. Croix River, changed his life forever, later resulting in his purchase of land and a cabin in Maine. In the January 1900 issue ofNational Sportsman he was described as, "a camera hunter (who) is well known throughout the country. He is the owner of the finest photographs in the country...Mr. Underwood is a true sportsman and enjoys hunting with the camera fully as much as with the rifle."

Loring's color plates next.

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