Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Pair of ORIGINAL 19th Century Painted Photographer Studio Backdrops (For Sale)

I put together a book on Painted Backdrops and their use in the transitional period from painting to photography last year, it is a modest attempt at describing the relationship between the two art forms at the turn of the century. Having collected examples of tintype photographs with unusual backdrops (and photos of studios with them on display or being painted) I know how scarce original 19th century studio backdrops are.

A gentleman with two extraordinary ORIGINAL examples contacted me last week and asked if I was interested in obtaining these two remarkable survivors. I have moved on to other projects after finishing The Painted Backdrop...and since I have not the room to display these quite striking historical pieces, asked the owner if I could share them here (with his contact information for a purchaser.) I am very grateful, and hope this post helps these find a good home! ANY museum of photography or a serious collector knows how scarce these are.

Condition looks remarkable, and the owner even has an example of a photo taken here to show you one of the drapes "in use."
If you are interested in purchasing or asking questions about these early photographic backdrops, contact the owner at email nypopa@aol.com or I would be happy to forward your request for information to the owner.

I can tell you the price is QUITE modest, and these really should be in an institution or a very serious collection.
Thanks to the current owner for sharing, and to any photography collector who wants a wonderful addition to their collection, these are quite nice.

I hope they find a good home.

(For those of you interested in my book The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920 see it HERE)
See my published books


  1. I am intrigued to see that they were painted in black and white. I don't know why, but I always expected them to have been painted in full technicolour. I wish I had the space and the cash.

  2. This may come a bit late, but I just got your book so that I could create my own backdrops. I've been doing tintypes and other forms of wet plate collodion for about five years, and ready to build a studio. I have a few studio cameras and large lenses. Anyway, I was curious if the backdrops are still available, where they are, and the price.

    Thanks and I'm enjoying your book on backdrops.

    Dave Smith

    1. I heard they were purchased and have a new owner, but that is all I know. MODERN backdrops, as I mention in the book, are readily available but for the most part are textures like "pebble" and such. It would be fun to commission a few, and if you do I would love to see them. Jim Linderman

  3. I've been trying to find out more about painted backdrops for an albumen photo project. I'm happy to find that someone has done research on this aspect of photographic history. I'm interested in your book, but the linked site says it is no longer available. Is it possible to obtain a copy?

  4. Were all painted backdrops in Black and white?