Curator‘s Comments

After completing his assignment to photograph the Crimean War for the British, Felice Beato opened a commercial photography studio in the Yokohama Foreign Settlement in Japan around 1863. In partnership with Charles Wirgman, a fellow Englishman and sketch artist, Beato began photographing and selling studio portraits, genre scenes, and landscapes of Japan. The popularity of photography and the growing interest in England for travel to Japan provided an opportunity for commercial success. Beato employed artists to hand-tint selected albumen prints that would be sold within Japan as well as sent to London for distribution and publication in various news journals. In 1868, Beato released a two-volume series of hand-colored albumen prints ponderously titled, Photographic Views of Japan with Historical and Descriptive Notes, Compiled from Authentic Sources, and Personal Observation During a Residence of Several Years, with letterpress by James W. Murray.

Felice Beato. British, born Italy, c. 1825–c. 1904

Putting on the Obi, or Girdle, c. 1868

Albumen print with hand coloring on paper mounted on cream colored paperboard

Purchased with the Hillyer-Tryon-Mather Fund, with funds given in memory of Nancy Newhall (Nancy Parker, class of 1930) and in honor of Beaumont Newhall, and with funds given in honor of Ruth Wedgwood Kennedy

ID Number: SC 1982:38-2 (5)