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Portraits and Views on display at County Museum
“Portraits and Views: The Redlands Photographic Studio, 1897 to 1924,” continues at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands. The exhibit, which features photographs and photographic equipment from Elias Everitt’s Redlands Photographic Studio, will run through July 15. The exhibit is included in paid museum admission.
At the turn of the twentieth century, community photographers like Elias Everitt did quite a brisk business. While people did engage in amateur photography at that time, not everyone had camera equipment of their own, so the market for camera work done by professionals was still in full swing. Studio portraits, promotional photography, and private commission work kept Everitt busy. Today, the tangible results of the work of the Redlands Photographic Studio remain as a terrific window to the past.
The glass negatives and few film negatives that make up the Elias Everitt photographic collection at the San Bernardino County Museum number in the thousands. They offer a unique view back in time, capturing people, events, structures and landscapes. The several dozen images featured in “Portraits and Views” are visually stunning, featuring people and places that many museum visitors will recognize.
The subtle details in the photographs can be very revealing. Circa 1890 or 1900, electricity for use in the home was a relatively new concept. Electric power for a room was often supplied from one cord with multiple outlets. Sometimes this single cord hung down from the ceiling in the center of the room, meaning that any electrical appliance had to be situated in that vicinity. Photographs that illustrate this would have been a real source of pride, but can seem a bit odd to those of us who are used to built-in wall outlets and permanent ceiling fixtures. By the same token, exterior shots of homes and buildings with the sprinklers going full blast might not have any special meaning today, but they were purposefully made to represent .modernity.
“Portraits and Views: The Redlands Photographic Studio 1897 to 1924” is made possible in part by The Redlands Area Historical Society, Redlands Camera Club, Clara Mae Clem, Ron Running, and PrintProPlus.com .