Untitled , 1911

Augustus Jackson Thibaudeau   —  
  • American
  • 1866-1939

  • 1979:067
  • platinum print
  • Framed: 23 1/4 x 17 7/8 in.
  • Collection of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Gift of Marie Thibaudeau, 1979
Augustus Jackson Thibaudeau was a prominent member of the Photo-Pictorialists of Buffalo, New York, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also a practicing lawyer in Niagara Falls, New York and lived just yards from the Rapids on Buffalo Avenue. Pictorialists believed that photographs should demonstrate the personal vision of the artist and use principles of fine art to create certain effects, rather than simply capturing an exact copy of nature. For example, a painted landscape from this period often revealed a darkened foreground, a lit middle distance, and a softened background. Among the methods used to create these effects in photographs were soft focus, special filters and lens coatings. Thibaudeau’s composition in this platinum print invites the viewer to enter the picture at the top left, traverse the dangerous cataract in a zigzag fashion, until reaching the gnarled tree in the lower right corner which also serves as a safe resting spot.