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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Mendel Diness

Born: Mendel John Diness 
Other: M.J. Diness 
Other: Mendel J. Diness 
Other: Mendenhall John Dennis 
Active:  Israel and Palestine / US
He was a watchmaker in Jerusalem and learnt photography from the Scottish missionary James Graham in the 1850s. He later converted to Christianity and settled in the United States where he became a preacher. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Jerusalem, Israel and Palestine 
Cincinnati, OH, US 
[5-9] [AKA Deniss, Dennis] B. Cornwall, England 27; father was Jewish merchant who moved to Odessa, Russia in 30. As teenager was taught watchmaking; studied at Heidelberg Univ. & starting in 49, at a yeshiva in Jerusalem. There he began associating with foreigners & converted to Christianity. Ostracized by the Jews he turned to photography, using equipment & knowledge provided by missionary James Graham. Being the only photog. in town he did well, selling his views in England as well. Went to US in 60, working as watchmaker & photographer in Cincinnati area & lecturing & preaching. He worked alone as well as in partnerships with H.S. Bosworth & Benjamin S. Fry. A collection of his images & documentary material has survived & is at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, including about 80 stereo images, all from the Holy Land. His work is in general more personal rather than the standard documentary approach of European photographers, and is of fine quality. D. Cincinnati, 90. SEE Nissan Perez, "Mendel John Diness, Photographer in Jerusalem", 1996. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the World (Non-USA), (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
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