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Wallace Nutting

 (1861 - 1941)
Wallace Nutting was active/lived in Massachusetts, Rhode Island.  Wallace Nutting is known for hand-colored pictorial landscape photographs.

Wallace Nutting

Biography from the Archives of askART

With a career of producing hand-tinted photographs of New England scenes distributed as prints, Wallace Nutting was widely known in the early 20th century when millions of copies of his work were sold.  "Of the hundreds of professional photographers who were active in the pictorialist genre and competing for the tourist trade, Nutting developed what was by far the largest and most prominent operation, employing nearly 200 colorists, framers, and salesmen." (2447)

He was also a craftsperson, writer and lecturer, and began his career as a Congregational minister.  Retiring from the ministry in 1904, he moved from Cranston, Rhode Island to New York City for a year, then to Southbury, Connecticut from 1905 to 1912, followed by a move to Framingham, Massachusetts where he lived for the remainder of his life.

Nutting also built furniture, doing reproductions of colonial pieces including chairs and cabinets.  His writings included 20 books such as Old New England Pictures, Furniture of the Pilgrim Century and Virginia Beautiful.

Peter Hastings Falk (editor), Who Was Who in American Art

"In the peak of his business he employed about two-hundred colorist.  Only a few of whom were authorized to title and sign his photographs.  In fact, Wallace Nutting signed very few of the pictures he sold.  Because of the sheer number sold, ten millions by his own account, It would have been difficult in light of ill health and his interest in publishing and furniture making for him to sign them all. This accounts for the various signature styles that can be found.  Collectors have learned to recognize an authorized signature as well as Wallace Nutting's own. Signature styles can date a picture and the combination of other elements can authenticate a signature. (Some examples can be viewed in an article on signatures.)"

A quote from the Wallace Nutting biography at the Wallace Nutting Library submitted by Gayle Bay.

Biography from the Archives of askART
The following biography is from Marianne Woods, academic researcher of the artist.

Wallace Nutting was born in 1861 and died in 1941.  He had trained to be a minister and served some prestigious churches.  Although a New Englander through and through, he did "go West" as many people did, and ended up for a time as pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle.  He went from there to Union Congregational in Providence, Rhode Island.

Finding the ministry too stressful, he was advised to find a different occupation.  He had been "dabbling" in photography as a means of relaxation even before quitting the pulpit at Union, and so he turned to photography after he resigned.

His platinotypes are primarily of New England scenery and the interiors of old
New England homes with women situated close to the home and hearth.  He
hired women to hand tint the photographs, and many of these women posed for him in the pictures as well.

My thesis is that he never stopped preaching, and that his pictures have a definite message.  My dissertation, done at the Union Institute, is called Wallace Nutting Photographs: Visual Sermons.

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About  Wallace Nutting

Born:  1861 - Marlboro, Massachusetts
Died:   1941 - Framingham, Massachusetts
Known for:  hand-colored pictorial landscape photographs