About This Image

Mary Olive Edis was a British photographer who was famous for autochrome phototographs and portrait photography and served as a war artist in World War I. Edis was born in the U.K. in 1876. Known better by her middle name "Olive", Edis was one of five daughters of architect Sir Robert Edis.

In 1903 she and her sister Katherine opened a studio in Sheringham, Norfolk, where they specialized in portraits of local fisherman and members of the local gentry. Eventually the partnership with her sister was dissolved when Katherine married. Edis herself married Edwin Galsworthy, a cousin of the novelist John Galsworthy, in 1928. Although the Sheringham studio continued in operation, she also opened new ones in Farnham, Surrey and Ladbroke Grove, London.

Edis worked with platinum prints, which were often sepia-toned. In 1912 Olive Edis became one of the first women photographers to make use of the autochrome process, and she patented her own design of autochrome viewers, termed diascopes. Her autochrome portraits of many of England's leading figures were eventually willed to the National Portrait Gallery, along with a sample of one of the autochrome viewers. Her famous sitters included George Bernard Shaw, Emmeline Pankhurst, Thomas Hardy, Arthur James Balfour and the Duke of York.

Some prints contain her monogram, an "O" surmounting an "E" and joined by a vertical line.

In 1914, Edis was elected a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. She was appointed an official war artist and photographed British Women's Services and the battlefields of France and Flanders in 1918-19 for the Imperial War Museum. In 1920 she was commissioned by her uncle, who was president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, to create advertising photographs for the Canadian Pacific Railway; and her autochromes of this trip to and across Canada are believed to be some of the earliest color photographs of that country.

She died in 1955. Examples of her work are held by the Bristish Imperial War Museum, the National Media Museum, the Cromer Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

Shipping and insurance costs will be added to the price and must be paid for by the buyer. Pennsylvania buyers must pay appropriate local sales tax. International clients are responsible for their VAT and other custom's oriented charges.

Still Life of Handmade Jewelry and Silver Objects
Mary Olive Edis Still Life of Handmade Jewelry and Silver Objects

Price $1,000

Main Image

Ref.# 11558

Medium Autochrome (1/2 plate)

Mount in glass mount

Photo Date 1912c  Print Date 1912c

Dimensions 6-1/2 x 4-11/16 in. (165 x 119 mm)

Photo Country United Kingdom (UK)

Photographer Country United Kingdom (UK)


Alex Novak and Marthe Smith

Email info@vintageworks.net

Phone +1-215-822-5662

Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.


Share This

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on linkedinShare on pinterestShare on tumblrShare via email