Jeannette Bernard Woman in a Shawl
Medium Platinum or related metal print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1908c Print Date 1908c
Dimensions 4-1/8 x 3-5/8 in. (105 x 92 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Jeanette Bernard (1855-1941) married her husband Louis in 1892, 16 years her senior, and they lived in Winfield Junction, Queens, NY, which today is at 50-05 66 St. in Woodside on the borderline of Maspeth, Long Island. The couple adopted Minnie Fennel, born October 1880, already a young teen.
Census records cite Bernard’s occupation as a music teacher, although her real passion was apparently photography, and she was a talented amateur. From 1904 until 1924 she took thousands of photographs, hand-developed them and sent them to magazines, publications and newspapers, entering them in photo contests.
She regularly submitted to Leslie’s Weekly, winning the paper's viewers' choice award "Best Amateur Photographer of 1907." She submitted to Youth’s Companion, Browning's Magazine and the Evening Mail Illustrated Saturday Magazine. Her photos were occasionally humorous and depicted early Queens County life.
The collectors Harvey Shipley Miller and Randy Plummer found most of the Bernard material, making selective donations of the photographs. Her images are in the collections of the George Eastman House, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Naomi Rosenblum‘s A History of Women Photographers has a brief mention and illustration of one of Bernard's photographs. Jami Guthrie published a thesis paper for Ryerson University in 2010 on "Jeanette Bernard and American Amateur Photography Contests In the Early Twentieth Century."
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