McBRIDE: "From the Kitchen Garden”, circa 1924
7:5/8 x 9:1/8”
In the mid-1920s a group of immigrant Japanese-American Pictorialist photographers in Seattle came together to form the Seattle Camera Club in order to share their love of photography. While the club only lasted from 1924-1929, it was amazingly successful. Members exhibited their work all over the world and their photographs were widely published and won many awards. Sadly, most of their work was lost over time for various reasons, including the internment of the Japanese during WWII.
The activities of SCC photographers paralleled those of members of Japanese immigrant photography clubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the SCC was distinguished by its enthusiastic and successful efforts to recruit non-Japanese members and by its monthly journal, Notan, which more than any other factor preserved SCC activities for posterity. Despite the pervasive racism that prevented Japanese immigrants from gaining citizenship, the work of SCC members was well received, finding prizes, purchasers, and general acclaim. Acknowledging the prominence of West Coast camera club photographers, the editor of the 1928 The American Annual of Photography wrote, “the influence of this group on our Pacific coast has put a lasting mark on photography in this country, the repercussions of which are echoing throughout the world.”
The word Pictorialist was used to describe both the photographic style as well as the photographer who used the medium for artistic expression. The range of styles associated with Pictorialism followed parallel painting trends such as Tonalism, Symbolism and especially Impressionism whose preoccupation with transient light effects was perfectly suited to photography. To achieve their results, the photo artists used innovative darkroom techniques and processes to manipulate their negatives and prints into unique compositions that were compatible with their contemporaries in the fields of painting and printmaking.
Source: University of Washington, David Martin ‘Shadows of a Fleeting World'