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Charles Breed, born in Pittsburgh, on March 11,1876, developed his love for photography at the young age of twelve when he built his first camera. Educated at the Shady Side Academy and Princeton University, he founded the first "Camera Club" in 1896. By 1899, his work was being exhibited by the Pittsburgh Amateur Photographer's Society, "2nd International Salon" where he entered ten photographs at the Carnegie. While photography was a life-long passion his other career was in education. He was a Latin teacher and headmaster of two private boy's schools and founded the Providence Country Day School in 1926.
During his exhibition, at the Carnegie Museum in 2007 it was stated by the Curator or Fine Arts, Amanda Zehnder, on one of the wall panels when discussing the three pictorialists in the show that "they had a place in the continuum of photographers that helped to establish the traditions of the formal family photograph and the more casual family snapshot".
Charles Breed, who is also known as Dr. Breed, from his academic career, was a classical Pictorialist who used a soft focus and delicate lighting. Much of his early work was of his three children between the years of 1905-1915. The body of his work was done in Platinum and Silver. In his "Wellcome" diary of 1910 he recorded his trip to France for a two month period. During this trip he photographed everyday and kept meticulous records of lighting, and shutter speeds and other data of each image.
Charles Breed took beautiful photographs. Besides his family as subjects he experimented in many other areas. He photographed landscapes in America and Canada and in Europe. He took aerial views, telescopic views, he used a microscope to record plant life, he experimented with complex negative splicing procedures to very effective ends, he hand-painted on his work, left a large body of Christmas cards with poetry,and experimented with the Sabattier effect. Overall, his work is a joy to view.
[Contributed by Jack Lubiner, August 7, 2008]
2008 Blair Academy, Romano Gallery, Blairstown, New Jersey
2007 The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1991 Blair Academy, Romano Gallery, Blairstown, New Jersey
1991 The Princeton Club, New York City
1990 The New York Public Library
1989 The Newark, New Jersey Public Library
1988 Books & Co. New York City
1986 Blair Academy, Romano Gallery, Blairstown, New Jersey
1899 The 2nd Annual Photographic Salon and Exhibition, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Museum of Modern Art
The Smithsonian American Art Museum
The George Eastman House
The Princeton Art Museum
The Seeley G.Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University
The Brooklyn Museum
The New Jersey State Museum
The New Jersey Historical Society
The New York Public Library: Research Library
The Newark, New Jersey Library
The Sherman Hines Photography Museum, Liverpool,Nova Scotia, Canada
Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, France
1901, The Strand Magazine, London England Vol. XXIL, July to December, p.236
[One photographic illusion of a "Man in a Bottle"]
1909, The Bookman, Vol. 28, p.532 Dodd, Mead and Company,New York
[Five photographs of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey]
1923, The Appalachian Bulletin (The Appalachian Mountain Society), December 4, p.99.
[Lecture with his "lantern slides" by Mr.Breed on "Going West"]
1927, Bird-lore (Publication of the National Audubon Society, Macmillan & Co.), Volumes 29-30, p.494
[Lecture with photographs by Mr. Breed on his trip to the Hawaiian Islands]
[Contributed by Jack Lubiner, July 4, 2010]