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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Joseph T. Keiley

Born: Joseph Turner Keiley 
Other: Joseph Keiley 
Dates:  1869, 16 July - 1914, 21 January
Born:  US, NY, New York (Not certain possibly USA, MD)
Died:  US, NY, New York
Active:  US
Early member of the Linked Ring Brotherhood in Great Britain and the Photo-Secession in the United States whose work was published in Camera Work. He was also an associate editor for the two influental periodicals run by Alfred Stieglitz - Camera Notes and Camera Work.

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Joseph T. Keiley
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

A close associate of Alfred Stieglitz, Keiley was as important to pictorial photography as a critic as he was a photographer. Between 1899 and 1911, he wrote extensively for Camera Notes and Camera Work, the two leading quarterlies on creative photography at the time. During the same period, his own photographs, consisting of primarily landscapes and figure studies, were seen in Photo-Secession exhibitions and American and European salons.
Joseph Turner Keiley was born on July 26, 1869, in Baltimore, Maryland, although his family moved to Brooklyn shortly thereafter. After graduating in 1892 from the New York Law School, he helped establish the Manhattan firm of Keiley and Haviland, where he practiced for the rest of his life.
Keiley began photographing in the mid-1880s and first showed at the 1898 exhibition of the Photo-Section of the American Institute (New York), which included thirteen of his prints. The same year, the first Philadelphia Photographic Salon accepted his work, as it would for the next two years. In 1899, he joined the Camera Club of New York, where his pictures appeared in members’ exhibitions frequently until 1905. He was privileged with solo shows at this club and the Photographic Society of Philadelphia in 1900. Over the next decade, his work was accepted at international photographic salons in Chicago, London, Glasgow, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Vienna, and Turin.
At the Camera Club of New York, Keiley served on both the print and publication committees. In 1899, he was elected to membership in England’s Linked Ring Brotherhood, only the fourth American to be granted such status. He served on the jury for the 1900 Chicago salon and the Lewis and Clark Exposition (Portland, Oregon) in 1905.
Keiley was a founding member of Stieglitz’s exclusive group, the Photo-Secession, in 1902, and had his work included in all its major exhibitions. These appeared at the National Arts Club, New York (1902), the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (1904), Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh (1904), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia (1905), and the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo (1910). In addition, his work was included in annual Photo-Secession members’ shows at its own Little Galleries in New York, every year between 1904 and 1908. Photogravures of Keiley’s images were featured in issues of Camera Notes in October 1899 and July 1901 and in Camera Work in January 1907. His original work was often rendered as glycerine-developed platinum prints, a manipulative process he perfected and published with Stieglitz.
As an editorial associate for Camera Notes, Keiley became Stieglitz’s closest friend and ally in the fight for photography as a fine art. He was one of the journal’s most prolific writers, contributing aesthetic discourses, technical explanations, and insightful exhibition reviews. Most noteworthy were his lengthy critiques—of up to thirty-seven pages—of the four Philadelphia Photographic Salons. When Stieglitz commenced publishing Camera Work in 1903, Keiley became the associate editor most involved in the new quarterly. He continued to write expository essays on pictorial photography as well as reviews of the movement’s major exhibitions. Altogether, he penned at least sixty-five articles between 1899 and 1911, some of which were published in Photography (London), Photograms of the Year (London), and the American Annual of Photography.
Keiley died young, at forty-four years of age, on January 21, 1914, of Bright’s (kidney) disease. He was eulogized at length in the October 1913 issue of Camera Work (published later), and Stieglitz kept his name on the magazine’s masthead until it ceased publication three years later, a clear tribute to his contributions. 
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. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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Further research

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Gertrude Käsebier
Joseph T. Keiley 
[Camera Notes] 
1899 (ca)
Family history 
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Visual indexes

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Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
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