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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Lillian A. Sigford

Dates:  1915, 9 April - 1986, August
Died:  US, MN, Deerwood

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Lillian A. Sigford
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Lillian Sigford was part of a trio of Sigfords who were pictorialists in the Twin cities during the late 1930s and 1940s. They included her husband, John, whom she married in about 1939, and his brother, Marshall. She was born on April 9, 1915, in Minneapolis, where she spent most of her life, except for about five years in Dallas and California.
Lillian was active in two Minneapolis camera clubs. The Minneapolis Photographic Society was her main interest, starting in August 1939, when it elected her to membership. Over the next few months she gave two demonstrations to the club on the bromoil process; this manipulative technique, a cross between a bromide (gelatin silver) and an oil print, yielded rich images that were developed with a brush. In 1940 she served as vice president for the society.
Sigford also attended meetings of the Minneapolis Womenís Camera Club. She sometimes entered their monthly competitions, spoke once to the club on low-key work, and applied make-up to a few members for a portrait session. She exhibited her work in exhibitions put on by both the womenís club and the Minneapolis Photographic Society.
Sigford had one print accepted into the 1940 Minneapolis Salon of Photography. Titled Persian Maid and printed by abrasion tone, it suggests the influence of the California pictorialist William Mortensen, who invented the process and often used similarly exotic subjects.
The museumís print by Sigford is a small, rich bromoil print of a bridge, with deep shadow areas and an architectural framing device. On the back is a label for an undated salon of the Minneapolis Photographic Society. Lillian Sigford died in August 1986, in Deerwood, Minnesota, a small town near Mille Lac. 
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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