Home / Photographers / -By Location / Kansas City: Strauss-Peyton, Hixon-Connelly_vlad [556]


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  • historicalzg - 1Reply
    @ charlotte bowenP : Hi charlotte, nice to meet you. Sure, we can take a look. First do a search here for Hixon and it might show up in another album. If not, can you figure out how to create a new album with that question in the "New 2013" section asking for an id?

    Please register and I'll give you permissions to do that. When you sign in again, on left side menu choose "upload photos" and in the drop down box that will be on the upload page make sure you have "New 2013" selected and then "create new album." Upload the pic into that.

    Please give album title something like "Hixon-Connelly ID Help Needed" or similar. I'll check back when I get another email notification.

    Sorry, not able to do anything much here as I'm in the process of moving - slowlyyyyyyyy due to medical conditions - and also trying to help someone out with a living situation problem here. Will be able to be more active and also hopefully finish moving old pics/albums to here by end of first week in May.

    Thanks for you nice comment! If you need further help with the new album just comment and I'll try to make it more clear.

  • charlotte bowenP - 1Reply
    what a collection! My boss has a Hixon Connelly photo of a fancy looking woman in profile that is signed to a Mr. and Mrs. by Stuart 1923 that he wants me to identify...I don't see it on this page, would you be willing to take a look?

Kansas City: Strauss-Peyton, Hixon-Connelly (upd. 05-28)    May 27, '10 10:53 AM
by Vlad for group historicalziegfeld #411

Kansas City: Strauss-Peyton, Hixon-Connelly.

Time Period: 1903-1929
Location: Troost Street, & 12th St., Kansas City

“In the 1910s, Benjamin Strauss specialized in formal portraits of Kansas City notables. After he added Homer Peyton as partner, the business expanded to theatrical photography. Peyton was the graphic artist, performing pictorialist manipulations of the negative to form aesthetic backgrounds, sculpt shadows, and supply tonal drama. Strauss-Peyton's large format prints are noteworthy for their richness of texture. Because of Kansas City's importance as a transportation hub, it was the juncture of three different theatrical circuits. Strauss-Peyton, like their rivals, Orval Hixon, James Hargis Connelly and Bert Studio, secured a national reputation as celebrity portraitists. Images regularly appeared in 1920s Movie and Theater magazines.”
© David S. Shields

“Because Ziegfeld's favorite photographer, Alfred Cheney Johnston, also painted backgrounds onto certain of his negatives, Ziegfeld only used Peyton during those periods when ACJ was away from New York--during the 1921-22 ventures to Hollywood, and during a vacation in 1928. The photograph of Anastasia Rielly shows Peyton a master of the drape shot, that genre that Johnston popularized among performing arts photographers.”
© David S. Shields

Orval Hixon
Time Period: 1914-1930
Location: Main Street, Kansas City, MO

“Hixon was the premier autodidact photographer of the midwest arts & crafts movement. A pictorialist in the sense that he considered the photographic print an art object worthy of fetishistic elaboration, he nevertheless was drawn to artifice rather than nature. He was a portraitist, working at times in conjuction with James Hargis Connelly, the Chicago photographer, interested in evoking the magic of theatrical craft in the studio. His manipulations of negatives are often extensive, sometimes creating strange arabesques of light, or reticulations of shadow in the backgrounds for graphic interest. He had a penchant for dark and half shaded prints. While he published in national magazines frequently in the 1920s, he reproduced images lack the impact of the original prints which are among the strangest and most compelling of the period.”
© David S. Shields

"Recent studies of the celebrity photographer have virtually ignored the work of Orval Hixon. The studios wanted him out there but he refused.....Hixon by contrast stayed in the Midwest. The celebrities he photographed came to him in Kansas City - something of a tribute in itself. And unlike these other notables Hixon did not confine himself to celebrity portraiture. He lent to the faces of the street, so to speak, the same sensitivity and burnished touch that he lavished on the stage and screen greats like Theda Bara and Wallace Reed...

...Orval Hixon's work, particularly the celebrity photographs of 1918 to 1930, reveal the fruits of this theatrical tradition in portraiture. He has shown me the glass negatives dating back to that time. They have been carefully worked over with the artist's brush and etching tool and pencil. The plate for him was only so much raw material with which he could work. These plates, old and now fragile, are paintings in themselves, ghostly images in negative possessing the haunting quality of music half-remembered. They demonstrate the elusive union of the artist's brush and the mechanical fidelity of the plate. All of which accounts for the unique mixture of dream and reality in Hixon's best work....

...His memories are not reveries lost in nostalgic haze, but rather accounts of expeditions with Valeska Surratt to find the right kind of wildflower for a sitting, a spaghetti dinner home cooked for him by Fanny Brice, a sitting with a young kid from Olathe, Kansas by the name of Buddy Rogers who wanted to go to Hollywood--and did. And so it went..."
© John Tibbetts
American Classic Screen Magazine-Vol Two No 4-1978)

James Hargis Connelly
Time Period: 1916-1940
Location: Kansas City, Chicago

“Despite learning the greater part of his art from an adventurous experimentalist in imagery, Orval Hixon, James Hargis Connelly cultivated a straight style of portraiture. A specialist in female headshots, usually presented with a focal point a little above the sitter's brow line, half length portraits and full figure likenesses were relatively rare in his oeuvre. A masterful retoucher, all of his heads are free of blemishes, well-disposed in the pictorial field, and lit to give a richly tone three-dimensional relief.”
© David S. Shields

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