Queer Places:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Historic Williamsburg, Virginia

Samuel Chamberlain (October 28, 1895 - January 10, 1975) was a photographer, etcher and author. He was part of the Literary Ambulance Drivers during WWI.

Over the years Chamberlain had pictured the American countryside and the landscapes of France, Britain ands Spain with his pencil and his camera. His work was reproduced in more than 40 books, among them “Beyond New England Thresholds,” “Fair Is jour Land” and “Behold Williamsburg.”

He also wrote many articles for Gourmet magazine and several books on the pleasures of the table, among them “Clementine in the Kitchen” and, with his wife, the former Narcissa Gellaly, “Bouquet de France, an Epicurean tour of the French Provinces.”

His interest in France dated from the early 1920s. On a return voyage from France to the United States he met his future wife. They were married in 1923 and returned to France, where they lived in Senlis, a small town near Paris.

Earlier, in World War I, he had enlisted in the American Field Service of the French Army and served with the American Army Ambulance Service. France awarded him the Croix de Guerre. In World War II he was a major in photo intelligence.

Chamberlain had studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but, influenced by his years in France, decided he would prefer to record the picturesque rather than design it. In the 1920s he wrote and illustrated many articles for Century, American Architect, Pencil Points, Art and Decoration, Architectural Record and other publications.

He studied etching in Paris under Edouard Leon with a scholarship and later served as an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. He left this post to study etching with Malcolm Osborne.

Chamberlain's interest n the American scene led him to the Williamsburg restoration in Virginia, where he besame the project's official etcher.

His books also included ‘'Sketches of Northern Spanish. Architecture,” “Domestic Arzhitecture in Rural France,” ‘Tudor Homes of England,” “Cape Cod in the Sun,” “Gloucester and Cape Ann,” “Historic Boston in Four Seasons,” France Will Live Again” and "This Realm, This England.”

He died at a hospital in Marblehead, Mass. He was 79 years old.


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