Beverly B. Dobbs Antique Photo of an Eskimo Inuit Girl in Fur circa 1900

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Fine antique photo by Beverly Bennett Dobbs (1868-1937), of an Inuit (Eskimo) girl in fur. Dobbs was an important photgrapher documenting Inuit culture in and around Nome, Alaska, in the early years of the 20th century.

The son of a farmer, Dobbs was born in 1868 near Marshall, Missouri. At age 8, he moved with his parents to Lincoln, Neb., where he learned photography. In 1888, Dobbs moved to Bellingham, Wash., and operated a photography studio for 12 years, including a partnership in 1890-1891 with F.F. Fleming under the name Dobbs & Fleming. He married Dorothy Sturgeon of Bellingham in 1896, then moved to Nome, Alaska, in search of gold in 1900. Dobbs continued to earn his living as a photographer, and by 1903, he had formed a partnership with the photographer A.B. Kinne from San Francisco. The Dobbs & Kinne studio in Nome offered photography services and photo supplies. Dobbs photographed scenes in Nome and the Seward Peninsula and made portraits of Inuit people (Eskimos). He was awarded a gold medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair) in 1904 for his Eskimo photographs.

By about 1909, Dobbs had started Dobbs Alaska Moving Picture Co., making him one of the first to use motion picture film north of the Arctic Circle. He made a name for himself as a filmmaker with Atop of the World in Motion (also called Top of the World in Motion), a collection of his motion picture travelogues detailing the Alaska gold rush. By 1911, it is probable that Dobbs was focusing only on his moving picture business; he no longer had his photography supply store, and had sold his photography negatives to the Lomen Brothers, who later issued some of his work under their name. By 1914, Dobbs had returned to Seattle and was managing the Dobbs Totem Film Company. He is listed as the cinematographer for A Romance of Seattle, a film shot in and around Seattle in 1919. In his later years he specialized in developing motion picture films in his studio at his home. He died at age 69 in 1937.

Housed in a modern frame and has been conserved under conservation glass by Pure & Applied conservation framers of London.

Size: 26.5 x 21.5 cm approx

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