Queer Places:
Arnold Genthe studio, 41 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017, Stati Uniti

Self-portrait, 1900Arnold Genthe (January 8, 1869 – August 9, 1942) was a German-born American photographer, best known for his photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and his portraits of noted people, from politicians and socialites to literary figures and entertainment celebrities.

Arnold Genthe was born in Berlin, Prussia, to Louise Zober and Hermann Genthe, a professor of Latin and Greek at the Graues Kloster (Grey Monastery) in Berlin. Genthe followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a classically trained scholar; he received a doctorate in philology in 1894 from the University of Jena, where he knew artist Adolf Menzel, his mother's cousin.

After emigrating to San Francisco in 1895 to work as a tutor for the son of Baron and Baroness J. Henrich von Schroeder, he taught himself photography.[1] He was intrigued by the Chinese section of the city and photographed its inhabitants, from children to drug addicts, Due to his subjects' possible fear of his camera or their reluctance to have pictures taken, Genthe sometimes hid his camera. He also sometimes removed evidence of Western culture from these pictures, cropping or erasing as needed. About 200 of his Chinatown pictures survive, and these comprise the only known photographic depictions of the area before the 1906 earthquake.

After local magazines published some of his photographs in the late 1890s, he opened a portrait studio. He knew some of the city's wealthy matrons, and as his reputation grew, his clientele included Nance O'Neil, Sarah Bernhardt, Nora May French, and Jack London. In 1904 he traveled to Western Europe and Tangier with the famous watercolorist, Francis McComas.[2]

In 1906, the San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed Genthe's studio, but he rebuilt. His photograph of the earthquake's aftermath, Looking Down Sacramento Street, San Francisco, April 18, 1906, is his most famous photograph.

Within a short time, Genthe joined the art colony in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where he fraternized with the literary elite, including George Sterling, Jack London, Harry Leon Wilson, Ambrose Bierce, and Mary Austin.[3] Here he was able to pursue his work in color photography. Of his new residence, he wrote, "The cypresses and rocks of Point Lobos, the always varying sunsets and the intriguing shadows of the sand dunes offered a rich field for color experiments." [4] Although his stay in Carmel was relatively short (1905–07), he was appointed in 1907 to the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery in Monterey’s luxury Hotel Del Monte, where he insured that the work of important regional art photographers, such as Laura Adams Armer and Anne Brigman, was displayed with his own prints.[5] By the spring of 1907 he had established his residence and studio at 3209 Clay Street in San Francisco, where he continued to enjoy membership in the celebrated Bohemian Club, attend prominent society functions, display his own work, and pen newspaper reviews of photo and art exhibitions.[3]

In 1911 he moved to New York City, where he remained until his death of a heart attack in 1942. He worked primarily in portraiture, and Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and John D. Rockefeller all sat for him. His photos of Greta Garbo were credited with boosting her career. He also photographed dancers, including Anna Pavlova, Isadora Duncan, and Ruth St. Denis, and his photos were featured in the 1916 book, The Book of the Dance.

Genthe was an early adopter of the autochrome color photography process. He began experimenting with the process in 1905 in Carmel, California.[6] He claimed credit for the first exhibition of color photographs in America; later scholars determined this is not accurate, but he was undoubtedly one of the earliest.[7] His subjects included portraits, artistic nudes, and landscapes.[7]

Genthe owned a cat called Buzzer. Buzzer often appeared in portraitures with Genthe's subjects, most notably Broadway actresses to whom the cat warmed. One such sitting in autochrome was with actress Ann Murdock.

Alice Delamar
Arnold Genthe, Anna Pavlova, 1915, Library of Congress
Anna Pavlova

Ava Alice Muriel Astor

Barbara Hutton

Billie Burke

Blanche Oelrichs

Bliss Carman

Carrie Stettheimer

Consuelo Urisarri Ford
Cornelia Otis Skinner | American actress and author | Britannica
Cornelia Otis Skinner

Crystal Eastman
Dora Zaslavsky

Dorothy Arzner

Dorothy Parker

Edith Lees Ellis

Edmund Goulding

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Eleonora Duse

Elissa Landi

Elizabeth Arden

Ellen Terry

Elsie Dufour

Emil Jannings

Ernest Milton

Estelle Winwood

Ethel Barrymore

Ettie Stettheimer

Eva Le Gallienne

Eva Palmer-Sikelianos

Evelyn Marshall Field

Eyre de Lanux
Marinoff by Arnold Genthe, 1913
Fania Marinoff

Fannie Hurst

Fola La Follette

Florine Stettheimer

Francis Grierson
George Sterling

Georgette Leblanc

Germaine Tailleferre

Greta Garbo

Helen Clay Frick

Helen Hoyt

Horace Traubel

I.A.R. Wylie

Ida Tarbell

Ina Claire

Inez Haynes Irwin

Inez Milholland

Irene Sharaff

Isabel Pell

Isadora Duncan

Jack London

Jeanne Eagels

John Barrymore

Katharine Cornell

Lillian Wald

Lou Tellegen

Louisa Baring, Lady Ashburton

Lucy Duff-Gordon

Lucy Donnelly

Lydia Lopokova

Mabel Choate

Malvina Hoffman

Marcia Van Dresser

Margaret Urling Sibley Iselin

Margarett Williams Sargent

Marion "Joe" Carstairs

Marion Morgan

Mary Pickford

Maud Allan

Mauritz Stiller

Mercedes de Acosta

Mina Kirstein Curtiss

Nance O'Neil

Nina Wilcox Putnam

Noël Sullivan

Olivia Wyndham

Pearl S. Buck

Peggy Guggenheim
Paul, Dean, Lady, portrait photograph

Robin May Thomas

Ruth Draper

Ruth St. Denis

Sara Teasdale

Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Orne Jewett

Sebastian Droste

Tallulah Bankhead

Ted Shawn

Templeton Crocker

W. Somerset Maugham

Witter Bynner

Yone Noguchi

Zona Gale

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Genthe