Southworth & Hawes, ‘Seated Portrait of Dorothea Dix’, circa 1849, Phillips

Whole plate

From the Catalogue:
A compassionate and tireless social reformer, Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) devoted herself to improving the lives of the mentally ill and the disabled. Dix traveled the country exposing the deplorable conditions in which the less-fortunate lived and were kept out of public view; her revelations caused a public outcry and resulted in an outpouring of donations to her cause. She petitioned Congress on behalf of those she called “the wards of the nation” to set aside land in trust for their care. A bill to that effect was introduced to Congress and was passed by both houses before ultimately being vetoed by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. Undaunted, Dix continued her crusade, here and abroad in England. The whole-plate daguerreotype offered here is one of six portraits made at Southworth and Hawes’s studio in Boston around 1849 and shows the technical perfection and aesthetic sophistication associated with the photographers’ best portraiture.
Courtesy of Phillips

International Center of Photography, Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes, pl. 140

The Southworth & Hawes Studio, Boston
By descent to Edward Southworth Hawes, Boston
Likely Holman's Print Shop, Boston, early 1940s
Collection of David Feigenbaum, Boston
Sotheby's, New York, The David Feigenbaum Collection of Southworth & Hawes and Other 19th-Century Photographs, 27 April 1999, lot 53

About Southworth & Hawes