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Creator Record

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Name Beach, Henry M.
Other names Beach, H. M.
Dates & places of birth and death b. 1863 - d.1943
Occupation Photographer: Adirondack park and outlying areas
Notes Henry M. Beach was a prolific and accomplished photographer from upstate New York who documented the North Country during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Beach photographed wealthy visitors at play as well as manual laborers working in the forest, logging camps, factories, mines, railroads, and construction sites. He photographed the beautiful Adirondack Great Camps as well as modest cottages, small stores, and family-owned resorts.

Photo postcards were his specialty. Although his postcard pictures were taken to sell wholesale to hotel managers, shop owners, and other retail merchants, they are not just mass-produced stylized, pretty pictures. Beside the bubbling brooks and shady woodland paths are factory boomtowns and paper mills belching pollution. Beach photographed dandy visitors at play as well as manual laborers sweating in the forest, logging camps, factories mines and construction sites. Images of "great camps" sit next to modest abodes, small stores and family-owned resorts. Pictures of trains in scenic surroundings give way to mangled wrecks after tragic railroad accidents. In addition to standard view cards, Beach produced montages, fantasy and advertisement postcards - serious visual commentary as well as lighthearted picture play.

Henry was a local, an insider to the world he photographed, a person intimate with the regions people and geography. It was from that position that he photographed upstate New York. He had little formal education and was not professionally trained in his craft. He lived far enough away from mainstream society that his work was not dominated by national photographic style and trends. He was free to focus on different subject matter, add quirky elements to his pictures, experiment with form and composition. The result is a vernacular documentary style that is unique, engrossing and significant. His best works stir the heart and provoke the imagination, and his whimsical down-to-earth approach to photography produce images that are a treat to the eye.
Publications For more information, see: Adirondack Vernacular: The Photography of Henry M. Beach
Relationships m. Bertha Brown
Places of residence Adirondacks
North Country
Lowville, NY
Remsen, NY

Associated Records

Image of The New Locomotive, Brandreth Lake. - photo - photo

The New Locomotive, Brandreth Lake. - photo - photo

Heisler Locomotive (A Logging locomotive)

Image of Where the Blacksmith Shop Stood, Stittville, N.Y. - Print, contact

Where the Blacksmith Shop Stood, Stittville, N.Y. - Print, contact

four people comforting each other at the scene of a fire

Image of Thendara, N.Y. Station. - Print, contact

Thendara, N.Y. Station. - Print, contact

some people, old cars and trucks in front of RR depot at Thendara, NY

Image of Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, Fulton Chain, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, Fulton Chain, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Modern (ca 1991) gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative. Hand written on negative, center of image: "ROCKY POINT INN. INLET. FULTON CHAIN, N.Y." Image of hotel and docks taken from the water.

Image of The Veranda, Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

The Veranda, Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Modern (ca 1991) gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative. Hand written on negative: "THE VERANDA, ROCKY POINT INN, INLET, N.Y." Image of a long porch with rocking chairs and rustic railing. Several women sitting in chairs.

Image of Looking Towards Inlet from Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Looking Towards Inlet from Rocky Point Inn, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Modern (ca 1991) gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative. Hand written on negative: "LOOKING TOWARDS INLET FROM ROCKY POINT INN, INLET, N.Y." Image looking toward lake with rustic pavilion and bridge in foreground.

Image of The Rustic Bridge at Rocky Point Inn - Inlet, N.Y. - photo - mounted; contact print

The Rustic Bridge at Rocky Point Inn - Inlet, N.Y. - photo - mounted; contact print

Modern (ca 1991) gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative. Hand written on negative: "THE RUSTIC BRIDGE AT ROCKY POINT INN - INLET, N.Y." Image looking down a bridge to an island or peninsula with a large structure on it. American flag flying.

Image of The Head of 4th Lake, from Rocky Mountain, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

The Head of 4th Lake, from Rocky Mountain, Inlet, N.Y. - Print, gelatin silver

Modern (ca 1991) gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative. Hand written on negative: "THE HEAD OF 4TH LAKE, FROM ROCKY MOUNTAIN, INLET, N.Y./ BEACH PHOTO." Image looking down onto a lake with Rocky Point Inn on a peninsula.