Approved biography for Howard Hammitt
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)
Howard Hammitt was an architect in Hartford, Connecticut. He contributed plans and an essay titled "The Service of the Architect" to the 1916 book Low Cost Suburban Homes, edited by Richardson Wright.
His interest in photography dated from this time, as he provided the cover image, of a frog on a lily pad, for the September 1915 issue of House and Garden. However, he did not become active as a pictorialist until the late 1930s. In 1938, the jury of the second annual Connecticut Valley Salon of Pictorial Photography accepted his work for its display in the Jones Library at Amherst, Massachusetts. Over the next four years, his photographs were included in over fifty other salons, in Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Rochester, and elsewhere. In 1939, he served as secretary for the Hartford County Camera Club, and the next year as its president.
Hammitt’s Jack-in-the Pulpit was perhaps his most successful image. In 1942, American Photography designated it as one of only twelve prize prints in its annual competition. The magazine reproduced it in its September issue and declared that it "is not only a photograph which gives the lover of natural history an interesting representation of the habitat and appearance of this familiar inhabitant of the North American woods, but also presents it in the form of a finely decorative composition." The very print that won this competition is the one owned by the institute; it came from the collection of Arthur Hammond, the magazine’s associate editor. This print also has exhibition labels that indicate it was shown at camera clubs in Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, Richmond, and Rochester. Hammitt also had an illustration in the American Annual of Photography 1944.
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 1 June 2013.
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