Larkspur by Wallace Nutting
This is a large format hand-colored photograph from the workshop of Wallace Nutting. It depicts a beautiful rural garden. Dramatic colors have been added to the flowers of the garden, particularly the flowers of the title--the Larkspur. A woman is shown admiring the flower spikes.
Artist Bio: Wallace Nutting (1861-1941)is one of the most interesting figures in the American Arts and Crafts movement. He was a talented student and ultimately received a Doctor of Divinity from Harvard University. He worked as a Congregational minister but was forced to retire in his early 40s due to poor health. This led to the start of his second career—the one his is renowned for. He turned what had been a hobby, photography into a business. He realized that by applying watercolors to black and white photographs, he could create an entirely new aesthetic that was extremely popular. Nutting applied the Henry Ford production method to this to be able to meet demand. Huge numbers of photographs were printed and provided to an assembly line of colorists (mostly women). Each colorist would have a specific color and would apply this color to one portion of the photograph before passing it along to the next in line until at the end of the line the print was complete finished and sent to be signed, titled and framed. All o f them are signed Wallace Nutting, although it was unlikely that he signed many (if indeed any) of the photos. He ultimately employed other photographers and over 200 colorists. Despite this approach, Nutting’s photographs are extremely lovely and highly sought. Many other photographers began to imitate Nutting’s approach (including some that started with Nutting). The development of color film that ultimately was easier and cheaper to process led to the end of this enterprise.