Cincinnati photographer James Landy

James Landy (1838-1897), Cincinnati Past and Present: or, its Industrial History, as Exhibited in the Life-Labors of its Leading Men (Cincinnati: Printed by the Em Street Printing Co., 1872). Graphic Arts GAX 2009-0858N

Each volume of this biographical series on prominent Cincinnati men contains 125 albumen silver prints. Photographer James Landy said he spent over two years making the nearly 70,000 prints that were required for the whole edition.

In an interview with Landy, published in the Commercial Gazette (January 26, 1896) just a year before his death, Landy discussed his life and work:

“During my career as photographer I have met hundreds of men and women, who were or are still prominent in politics, or in the professions, and I could tell you many an interesting reminiscence. My collection of portraits of celebrities, taken during the last thirty-five years, numbers many hundreds, and at present I am at work cataloguing them. They will be exhibited some time this year.”

Mr. Landy has been exceptionally successful during his career, and many are the acknowledgments of the superiority of his artistic work which have been awarded to him. His series of seven photographs, representing Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages,” has become famous all over the world. A set of these pictures, tastefully framed, adorns the walls of the Shakespeare Memorial Library in Stratford-on-Avon, and a handsome letter of thanks from the Shakespeare Memorial Association is in Mr. Landy’s possession, and treasured highly by him.

At many exhibitions valuable prizes have been awarded to Mr. Landy for his excellent and artistic work. At the Chicago Exhibition of the Photographers Association of American, in 1887, he was awarded the Blair Cup for his “Man, Know Thy Destiny,” and at the Convention in 1888, in Minneapolis, his “Hiawatha” again won him the Blair Cup.

Thanks to Gary W. Ewer for finding the quote.