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© David S. Shields

Edward Thayer Monroe and the Question of Poise    Sep 21, '09 8:16 PM
by David for group historicalziegfeld #146

In certain respects Edward Thayer Monroe was the photographer closest in aesthetic principles to Alfred Cheney Johnston when creating personality publicity images. From Monroe's time as chief photographer for White Studios from 1915-1920, through his period as an independent artist in the 1920s to late 1930s, to his final years in partnership with George Lucas in the Lucas-Monroe studio, E. T. Monroe sought to portray poised (rather than posed) personality.

Like Johnston, Monroe could convey the self-possession and serenity of his subjects. Yet there are several notable points of difference in their approaches. Johnston had an aversion to women dressed in modern dress; Monroe preferred modern dress. Patterning the background for effect completed an image for ACJ. Monroe preferred no background. ACJ liked to imposed at least eight feet of distance between him and his subject. Monroe liked on the whole to shoot closer in. Nevertheless, both camera artists shared the aim of capturing the distinctive beauty of their subjects. David S. Shields

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