1865 carte de visite photograph of sculptor Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (1830-1908), produced by the Black & Case photography studio in Boston.
This is a previously unknown pose from a photography session in the summer of 1864 that yielded the well-known photograph of her that was widely distributed and served as the basis for the engraving of her that was reproduced in art books for years.
Harriet Hosmer was the best-known and most successful female sculptor of the 19th century. She spent a good deal of her time in Europe. The date this photograph was sold suggests that it was part of the publicity for the exhibition of her celebrated sculpture "Zenobia" at Childs and Jenks Gallery in Boston, which drew record-breaking crowds in late February 1865. The revenue stamp on the back is dated January 26, 1865.
There was a great deal of interest in Hosmer at the time because female sculptors were a rarity, the proposition itself considered by some to be unbelievable — in December 1864, Miss Hosmer's article, "The Process of Sculpture" was printed in Atlantic Monthly and in it she went to great lengths to explain the sculptural process step-by-step, an effort to refute rumors claiming that skilled male assistants did her work for her.