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 Caroline L. (Carrie) Gurrey  (1874 - 1927)



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Lived/Active: California/Hawaii      Known for: commercial portrait photography, children

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BIOGRAPHY for Caroline Gurrey
1874 (Oakland, California)
1927 (Honolulu, Hawaii)


Often Known For
commercial portrait photography, children

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Caroline Haskins Gurrey was born in Oakland, California in the late 1870s. At the turn of the century, following two years at the University of California at Berkeley, she came to the Hawaiian Islands and began to establish her reputation as a portrait photographer. Photography was no idle hobby for her, and It provided her income both before and after her marriage to art dealer, and early surfing photographer, A R Gurrey Jr.

Caroline Gurrey was always a commercial photographer with a difference; she would not be hurried. For the children's photographs she would often spent an entire day on a single sitting. The techniques she used emphasized the effect of the soft focus lenses that leave her original prints with a tranquil and dreamlike quality. She would not allow anyone else except herself to do her developing and printing. Each finished portrait captured, an instant of time that captures the special qualities of the individuals who were her subjects. She signed her photographs 'C H Gurrey'.

Gurrey was well paid for her portraits of Honolulu's wealth citizens, but her interest in photography as art, was photographing the beauty of Hawaii's mixed race and full blooded children, of which she exhibited fifty of these photographs at the 1909 Alaska-Yukom-Pacific Exposition and the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco 1915. She won two gold medals, with the photographs eventually going to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C..

Unfortunately, the glass negatives she used for these photographs were destroyed in a flood at her house soon after 1927.

Submitted by Dick Duff, whose source is the book, Photographers of Old Hawaii, by Joan Abramson, pub. 1977, plus the the internet.

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Caroline "Carrie" L. Haskins was born in California in 1874.  "Carrie" Haskins was a resident of Berkeley in 1888-1900.  By 1901 she had married Alfred R. Gurrey, Jr. and moved to Honolulu.  She died there in 1927.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
City Directory.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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