An unusually large and beautiful image of Anthony and the only such image from her 80th birthday we have ever seen.
Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 and died in Rochester in 1906. She is perhaps the most widely known suffragist and has become an icon of the women’s suffrage movement. She and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, seeking a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women’s...
Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 and died in Rochester in 1906. She is perhaps the most widely known suffragist and has become an icon of the women’s suffrage movement. She and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, seeking a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote. Anthony was arrested for voting in 1872 and was tried and convicted, a move that brought national attention to the suffrage cause. In the 1880s she, Stanton and Matilda Gage wrote and published the comprehensive “History of Woman Suffrage”. In 1890 Anthony presided over the unification of the suffrage associations, which fused under the new banner of National American Woman Suffrage Association. She presided over this group for a decade. In 1897 Anthony began work on her biography, which was published the next year as “The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, A Story of the Evolution of the Status of Women”. As she turned 80 years old in 1900, Anthony pledged the cash value of her life insurance to meet the University of Rochester’s financial demands for the admission of women.
Rochester’s most acclaimed 19th century portrait photographer was John Howe Kent. He moved to Rochester in 1868 and there he operated nine different studios until his death. His precision CDVs and cabinet card photographs earned him lavish praise – with one early biographer lauding Mr. Kent as “the leading photographic artist of the country” – and photographs with his stamp are works of art. This note gained him access to some of the most important celebrity residents and visitors to Rochester, most notably Anthony and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Kent also collaborated with George Eastman on development of the Kodak camera. He died in 1910.
Anthony developed a practice of having photographs of herself taken on her birthday. The earliest one appears to be from 1848, when she was 28 and headmistress at Canajoharie Academy. The next one we are aware of was taken in 1856, at age 36, when she became active in the fight against slavery. She continued the tradition in 1900, having the Kent studio photograph her on her 80th birthday.
Large imperial cabinet signed photograph, on her 80th birthday, “Susan B. Anthony 1820 – Feb. 15, 1900.” Approximately 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 photograph that has the Kent studio marking on the recto and its backstamp on its verso. This is a beautiful image of Anthony, and larger than other cabinet cards. Some staining.
Signed images of Anthony are not common and a search of public records shows no other examples of this photograph commemorating her 80th birthday to reach the market.
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