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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Theodore W. Bennett

Dates:  1906 - 1983, 7 May
Died:  US, MN, Minneapolis

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Theodore W. Bennett
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Theodore W. Bennett was a founding member of the Minneapolis Camera Club in 1931, and ten years later served on the committee that organized the annual salon sponsored by the club. His work was included in the Minneapolis Salon of Photography in 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1938.
Bennett raised Scottish terriers, the subject of his most well-known photograph, Peter and Wendy. In it, two dark Scotties (apparently male and female) face the camera in the kind of formal portrait usually reserved for humans. Bennett posed them on cushions, against a flat background, and hand-lettered their names on the print (a technique made popular by William Mortensen). This image was reproduced not only in the catalog for the 1933 Minneapolis salon but also as the cover and frontispiece of the June 1934 issue of Camera Craft (San Francisco), the West Coast’s leading periodical on pictorial photography.
Bennett studied at the University of Minnesota from 1927 to 1931. Like his brother and fellow pictorialist, James, Theodore worked in his family’s mining business, which began by developing northern Minnesota’s Mesabi iron range. To this end, he lived in Hibbing for about three years in the early 1930s. He also participated in successful exploration for oil and gas in the 1950s in Alberta, Canada. He collected art and in 1953 gave a painting by Claude Monet to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Theodore W. Bennett died in Minneapolis on May 7, 1983. 
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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