Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, Charleston, South Carolina, 1926

Contributed by Stanley Museum on deposit at Maine Historical Society

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Chansonetta Stanley Emmons’s decision to dedicate her creative output to photography was unconventional but not unique for a woman. Because her brothers supported her financially, Chansonetta and Dorothy were free to explore the world through photography and art, without being bound to commissions like commercial photographers.

This snapshot shows Chansonetta in a fashionable outfit and hat framing up a photo of the Felder family, African American tenant farmers on the Hermitage plantation in South Carolina. A family friend recalled that Chansonetta’s work outfits looked like she was heading into Boston to shop, rather than preparing for a demanding day of photography.

Chansonetta purchased a heavy, Century brand camera in 1904, and used it her entire career. Shutter speeds took between 1/25 of a second up to 3 seconds to imprint on the 5 x 7 inch glass plate negatives. To get a clear image, photographers counted off the time aloud for subjects to stay still.

Scholars suspect Dorothy Emmons took this image of her mother during their photography excursion to the Charleston area.

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About This Item

  • Title: Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, Charleston, South Carolina, 1926
  • Creator: Dorothy Stanley Emmons
  • Creation Date: 1926
  • Subject Date: 1926
  • Location: Charleston, Charleston County, SC
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 5.1 cm x 7.6 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 4040, Box 10/0097, 1990.PHO1.0097
  • Collection: Chansonetta Stanley Emmons photograph collection
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Stanley Museum on deposit at Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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