[Mandolin] Guerin, F. W. (1846 - 1903)
“Lost Chord” - Mammoth Albumen Photograph
Enormous exhibition "mammoth" plate albumen photograph of a young lady plucking a mandolin. 19 x 15 inches, matted and framed in original period elaborate white-and gold-plaited glass-fronted frame. St. Louis, nd. Circa 1890. Unusual!
One of the significant society and celebrity photographers of St. Louis, F.W. Guerin was born in New York City in 1846. Enlisting as a teenage infantryman in the Union Army, he fought under Generals Sherman, Lyon, and Grant and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in combat on April 28 & 29, 1863. During the war he came into contact with photographers and developed a fascination with the art. After the war, he enjoyed little local success until 1878 when pictures submitted to the photo salon of the World Exposition in Paris won a medal for excellence. Gradually expanding his operation, he finally settled in 1891, in St. Louis's West End and enjoyed repeated success in international exhibitions, particularly for his portraits. But Guerin believed that photographers, like graphic artists, had to cultivate the public, so he prepared many genre scenes—humorous or sentimental, such as the present example, for sale in his gallery to visitors. In 1900 he opened the Guerin College of Photography in St. Louis.