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Keith Dotson Photo Life

THE BLOG OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH DOTSON

New Daguerreotype Photo of Emily Dickinson Discovered

New Daguerreotype Photo of Emily Dickinson Discovered

Ever wonder what Socrates really looked like? How about Alexander the Great? Cleopatra? Jesus?

One of the miraculous things about photography is its ability to show us, if only for a short window of historical time, what influential figures from the past really looked like. Sure we can often see representations of famous people from history, but nothing gives us a sense of their true appearance like a photograph. Imagine how our perceptions of Einstein might be different if we couldn’t see in photographs this zany genius with his mass of unrestrained white hair, bushy mustache, and wrinkled suits. And how about the unique appearance of Abraham Lincoln? No written description or painting could truly capture the distinct look of America’s sixteenth president.

Newly discovered 1859 photograph of Emily Dickinson, left, pictured with a friend believed to be in mourning attire. Amherst College Archives & Special Collection.
Newly discovered 1859 photograph of Emily Dickinson, left, pictured with a friend believed to be in mourning attire. Amherst College Archives & Special Collection.

Until recently, only one known photograph existed of the great American writer Emily Dickinson. But a suspected second photo has been discovered in her former hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. Read more about the newly discovered daguerreotype and how experts identified her. What famous person from history do you wish you could see in a photograph?

Until recently, this 1847 daguerreotype was the only known photograph of Emily Dickinson. Amherst College Archives & Special Collection.
Until recently, this 1847 daguerreotype was the only known photograph of Emily Dickinson. Amherst College Archives & Special Collection.

To see some of my photographs, visit my website at www.keithdotson.com.

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~ Keith

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