Detail of  "Gertrude Kasebier Photographing Shinn," 1907 by Everett Shinn. Delaware Art Museum
Gertrude Käsebier
Date: American photographer, 1852–1934
Biography: Gertrude Kasebier was a significant American photographer, best known for her pictorialist genre scenes and her portraits of artists and Native Americans. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Kasebier grew up in the Colorado Territory. After the sudden death of her father, her family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where her mother opened a boarding house. She married a successful businessman and had three children. She began to attend art school at age 37 and studied with Arthur Wesley Dow at the Pratt Institute of Art and Design. She took up photography in the 1890s and opened her own portrait studio in 1896. She exhibited her work extensively in the United States and Europe around the turn of the century. She was elected to membership in the Linked Ring (an exclusive British photography society), and Alfred Stieglitz invited her to become a founding member of the Photo-Secession. The first issue of Camera Work featured Kasebier's photographs, but her dedication to commerical portrait photography would eventually put her at odds with Stieglitz. An extremely influential portraitist, she photographed the sculptor August Rodin and members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to great acclaim. Kasebier also encouraged other women to become photographers.