American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936: Images from the University of Chicago Library
Arts & Humanities
Portraiture and Biography
This collection includes a "Biographical Guide to Individuals in the Department of Botany, University of Chicago". This guide provides names and links to images of these individuals, including several portraits. What does a portrait suggest about the individual depicted? What does the pose of the person suggest about him or her? What kind of clothing is he or she wearing? What does this tell you about the person? Where is the person? What does the setting suggest? Who or what else is in the photograph and how does that reflect upon the subject? What can you learn about the people and their lives from the photographs that are not portraits?
Use the information in the biographical guide and the questions below to conduct outside research to find out more about one or more of these individuals. Do the findings confirm or contradict your impressions or information based on the collection's photographs? Try writing a short biography of an individual, illustrating it with images from the collection. Search on the individual's name and places they studied to retrieve pertinent images.
- Where was the person born? What was her economic and social standing in society?
- Was she the first member of her family to pursue a higher degree?
- What did he do after he left the University of Chicago?
- What was the impact of his studies at the university on the rest of his life?
- Did the individual publish articles and books?
- What do we know of the person's character?