The Daguerreian Society

Joan Severa

Joan Severa

Costume historian, Master Gardener, curator and writer Joan Severa, a life member of The Daguerreian Society, died March 5, 2015 at the age of 89 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Joan was generous with her vast knowledge, always enthusiastic about new projects, and eager to tackle puzzles that sometimes seemed impossible to solve. Well into her eighties she was energetic, engaging -- and always stylishly dressed. Longtime members will remember her introduction to the Society -- a talk at the Oakland, California Symposium about dating photographs from fashions worn by the subjects. In that presentation, she solved a mystery that had dogged many daguerreotype collectors for years: how to tell whether a child in a dress is a boy or a girl. Her simple answer: "Girls always parted their hair in the middle, boys on the side."

Joan's career as a costume historian began at the Wisconsin Historical Society in 1958. In 1979 she was named Curator of Costume and Textiles, a post that included Decorative Arts. She wrote numerous articles on historic clothing, many of them of special interest to living history centers.

In 1997, Kent State University Press published Joan's Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. As dozens of five-star reviews make clear, this book is a vital reference for genealogists and family historians, for photography collectors and curators, for reenactors and others seeking to produce historically-accurate costumes. Dressed for the Photographer received the Millia Davenport Publication Award from the Costume Society of America, as well as awards from the Victorian Society in America, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, and the Wisconsin Library Association.

Author and educator Alida Winternheimer once devoted a blog entry to Dressed for the Photographer and its influences on her writing; she formed an image of Joan just from reading the book:

I like to imagine Severa handling her photos in cotton gloves, leaning over them to peer through a loupe as she reads the garments like a Sherlock-Holmes-of-Fashion. The amount of knowledge required to write this book is astounding. At 540 pages, it provides a detailed catalog of the first 60 years of photographic portraiture as a record of American dress.

Indeed, family members revealed that Joan's determination and investigative skills earned her the nickname "Joan Persevera".

After her retirement from the Historical Society, Joan volunteered at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison; in 1999 she published Creating a Perennial Garden in the Midwest, a book that is still in print 16 years later. She was, of course, equally generous in sharing her gardening knowledge and enthusiasm as she was her expertise in historical dress. A review by Linda Brazill in Madison's Capital Times newspaper describes the book as "friendly, chatty and knowledgeable as Severa herself," and praises the illustrations -- photographs by Joan Severa.

Joan's expertise in gardening and daguerreotypes happily coincided for me two years ago, when I consulted her about a portrait of a man with a basket of flowers and plants. It became clear to both of us that this was a very rare example of a message being communicated by the Victorian Language of Flowers. Joan's eagle eye helped to identify some of the blossoms, enabling the message to be decoded.

Joan was a fixture at the yearly meetings of the Daguerreian Society, even though air travel was especially difficult for her because her metal replacement joints inevitably set off alarms when passing through security. At the age of 88, she was proud to have attended the 25th annual symposium in Bry-sur-Marne, France -- a very long way from home.

In 2005, Kent State published Joan's My Likeness Taken: Daguerreian Portraits in America. She scoured private collections for 275 daguerreotypes that exemplified the dress and customs of Antebellum America and wrote detailed notes on the fashion cues in each image. The dedication page of this landmark volume reads,

"I wholeheartedly dedicate this book to the Daguerreian Society of America, and all its members."

--Wm. B. Becker

Harvey Zucker, Modern Daguerreotypist

Harvey Zucker

A native New Yorker, Mr. Zucker was a photographer, writer, editor, teacher, and photohistorian. In 1979 Zucker founded the legendary bookstore A Photographers Place, located in Soho. At the time the store was the world's largest shop devoted exclusively to the art, history, and craft of photography. It attracted book collectors, professional photographers, students from around the world, both behind the counter and as customers until closing in 2001.

Zucker began his lifelong involvement with photography as a young man living in Greenwich Village. He shot photos during the April 1961 folksinger protest in Washington Square, and was a New York correspondent for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) Photo Agency.

He later worked as a commercial photographer, was a technical editor of Penthouse Photo World, a contributing editor of Popular Photography, and a technical writer for Shutterbug. He was a founding member of the Photographic Historical Society of New York, serving as its president from 1971 to 1974, and a member of the Society of Photographic Educators, teaching at Hofstra University, the School of Visual Arts, and CCNY. In the '70s, Zucker, along with photographer Gene Bourne, converted a vintage 1938 truck into a portable tintype studio, driving to local fairs and making modern tintypes using the historic process. Zucker was especially passionate about the daguerreotype, the earliest photographic technique, giving lectures, workshops, and producing numerous modern daguerreotypes. His work is included in the collections of George Eastman House in Rochester, NY and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

A veteran, motorcycle enthusiast, and world traveler, Zucker was known for his keen sense of humor, love of wordplay and witticisms. He is survived by daughter Tara, son Daniel, and grandchildren Guenevere, Rachel and Alex Zucker.

The Daguerreian Society was honored having Harvey Zucker as a member of the Daguerreian Society for many years. He will be missed.

Michele Ann Krainik (née Hoggay) 1946 - 2014

Loving Wife, Mother, Historian, and Author

Michele passed peacefully into eternity with the Lord in the company and comfort of her family in her much beloved home on Sunday morning, July 27th.

Michele Krainik

Michele Ann Krainik was born in Elgin, Illinois, on the last day of November 1946. She shared her nativity with her identical twin, Marsha Ruth McCanless. Michele was named after her father, Michael Hoggay, a small- business owner and World War II combat veteran. Her mother, Lorraine Stoeckel, was an accomplished homemaker and mother of six children whose first names all began with the letter "M" -- Michele, Marsha, Mary, Monica, Michael, and Mark. Michele grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where her grandparents owned a small farm. As a teenager she was a volunteer "Candy Striper" at Northwest Community Hospital and with her sister Marsha and friends, helped form the Arlington High School marching band color guard, The Coronets. Upon graduation Michele enrolled at Northern Illinois University and pursued a career in elementary education.

We met in bed. It was a nasty cold day in Chicago -- March 8, 1967. I was enlisted to drive our circle to the Park Ridge hospital to visit a former girl friend having her tonsils removed. The rooms were semi-private, so there were two patients per room. Michele was in bed with a patch over her right eye. Her identical twin, Marsha, stood beside the bed looking none too happy with the antics going on across the room. As Michele raised a cigarette to her lips, I extended my lighter and introduced myself as, "Chip." Her mother, of course, was incredulous that on the day after she was discharged we went on out first date -- a masquerade dance at my school. Michele dressed as a pirate, and we discovered we had mutual friends and mutual interests including a love of history. Several dates later I invited her to my house, not to see my etchings but to behold my daguerreotype collection ...

We were married in the middle of June 1968. It was one of those Hollywood productions -- extended bridal party, enormous gothic church, flowers and photographer, crowds of relatives and friends It was the happiest day of our lives. Our honeymoon? I gutted the rusting Volkswagen Bus, provisioned it with essentials, and we headed south to Mexico. We drove thousands of miles and when we reached our destination, Acapulco, we spent days drifting from beach to markets looking for shells and antiques. In a second-hand shop, Michele discovered a small album of Mexican cartes de visite, and I salvaged a much abused tintype portrait of two young boys.

Michele worked in communications, supporting us while I completed my degree at the University of Illinois. In early February of 1970 we came to the proverbial Fork in the Road - Parke-Bernet-84, New York, held an important auction billed as: Rare Photographic Images, Apparatus & Literature - the Collection of Sidney Strober. We withdrew our savings, borrowed against our future, and left Chicago in a blinding snowstorm in Michele's VW convertible. We drove non-stop to the preview on the Friday before the auction. There was precious paper, mounded chest high on tables surrounding the viewing room -- photo-illustrated books, early and important stereoviews, historic cartes and cabinets that we might never see again -- but to us, they were all just distractions.

The daguerreotypes, those silver magnets that drew us inexorably to New York in the dead of winter were casually rubber banded and piled in dimly lit display cases. The next day we were fortunate to purchase many Daguerreian treasures including a sixth-plate out door scene of a surveying party, a whole-plate gold rush (Sacramento view) many fine daguerreotypes by Gurney and other masters plus Lot Number 117: a mammoth-plate daguerreotype (11 by 17 inches) of the 1853 graduating class of the Rutgers Female Institute, NYC, for $300.00 -- with no buyer's premium.

After the auction the under bidder for the mammoth-plate came up to Michele and sputtered -- "That's a lot of money for just one daguerreotype -- but, it is a great one!" We felt flattered that our rival (and later our mentor), Beaumont Newhall, director of the George Eastman House, extended his congratulations.

Michele Krainik with Matt daguerreotype

And so the die was cast -- we invested our resources and lives together in an enterprise that would be our business and passion for the next forty years. Our first vintage photography auction catalogue was issued in March 1972; it featured a dim, salt-print portrait signed by President Franklin Pierce.

On Memorial Day weekend in 1980 we placed all our worldly goods and our two young boys in a rented truck and moved from Arlington Heights, Illinois, to Virginia to open a gallery of vintage photography in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Our first location was sublet from the noted Texas novelist, Larry McMurtry. He and Michele became fast friends and they would discuss Larry's writing projects including Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, and Terms of Endearment. Eventually, Michele acquired a complete collection of Larry's works, most of them signed and inscribed to her. Our gallery featured 19th-century photographs and, together with Harry Lunn and Kathleen Ewing's enterprises, we presented a nice offering to collectors and museums.

In the spring of 1971 Michele became a founding member of the Chicago Photographic Collector's Society and served as its first secretary. Michele co-authored Union Cases: A Collector's Guide to the Art of America's First Plastics, (Grantsburg, WI:1988). As an expert in the field, Michele was asked in 2008 to contribute the entry for Union Cases in the Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. She was present at countless photographic trade fairs from their earliest beginnings -- including the Ohio Camera Collector's Society at the Southern Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. She bought and sold photographs at the National Stereoscopic Society -- back when Canton, Ohio, was the only go-to place. For over fifteen years she exhibited at the Photographic Historical Society's Trade Fairs at the Penta Hotel in New York City, and attended dozens of Chicago Photo Trade Fairs and many Photo History Symposiums in Rochester, New York.

In fact, in 1988 in Rochester during a symposium lunch break, Michele was in the inner circle of historians that established the Daguerreian Society. She paid her twenty-dollar dues, and became a founding member. Over the past twenty-six years Michele attended numerous Daguerreian Symposiums and co-authored several scholarly articles for the Daguerreian Annual. In addition, Michele co-authored several articles for White House History, the publication of the White House Historical Association.

In the summer of 1971 Michele and I began our research into the life of John Plumbe, Jr. We drove to Dubuque, Iowa, to seek out the final resting place of the Daguerreian pioneer and transcontinental railroad advocate. Michele's fascination with Plumbe's tragic story remained unabated. She spent mind-numbing hours researching Plumbe's career in libraries and archives from Washington to Albany to San Francisco and throughout the mid west, but especially in Dubuque.

As a researcher she was tenacious, uncompromising, demanding, and always optimistic. In addition to her diggings in newspapers, she transcribed and indexed all of Plumbe's diaries and letters. In 1997 she was partner to the exhibition, National Vision, Local Enterprise: John Plumbe, Jr. in Washington, D.C. -- the premier showing of the Daguerreian work of Plumbe at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. She was instrumental in arranging a concert The Plumbe Musical Recital performed by the Oratorio Society of Washington in conjunction with the symposium that year. She spoke about "John" as if he were a family member -- and in a way, I guess that's what he became. His story is still yet untold, but it will be published, and it will become a lasting monument to Michele and to her love for Daguerreian research.

Michele was admired and cherished for her beauty -- both physical and spiritual -- for her grace, inner strength, intelligence, and her devotion to God and her family. She will be remembered by her family and legion of friends, and although her worldly journey has come to an end, her indomitable Spirit remains to give comfort and inspiration to all those whom she has met.

Michele leaves behind two sons, a grandson, a granddaughter, and a host of friends who will never forget her many kindnesses, her steadfast loyalty, enthusiasm, and incomparable style.

Louis Mushro

Louis Anthony Mushro, 82 a lifelong Grosse Pointe Farms resident passed away peacefully April 21, 2014 after a long illness, at home with his long time companion Anne Flanagan. He was born in Detroit to Lebanese immigrants on July 28, 1931, the youngest of five children.

Louis Mushro

From a very young age Lou loved to perform. At Howe Military School Lou was a triple State of Indiana 1st prize winner in Dramatic, Humorous and Oratorical speeches, even beating actor James Dean in the Dramatic Speaking Division. He graduated from Wayne State University where he met his future wife, Anita Mushro. While at Wayne State he sang and played Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music as well as Hamlet, Macbeth and Crime and Punishment. For the following 12 years he sang every week as a soloist on the "Ernie Rennie Show at CKLW and the Bob Murphy Show on WJBK-TV. Lou and his partner Anne danced competitively in events like the Challenge of Champions and the Detroit International Ball often taking 1st prize. In his later years, he sang professionally in the Detroit area and Toronto, Canada and was considered one of the area's finest tenor vocalists.

In the 1960's and 1970's Lou ran the Northern Management Company which owned & managed hotels and apartment buildings throughout the Detroit metropolitan area. He was also an avid collector and was a lifetime member of the Manuscript Society and the Daguerrian Society. He enjoyed collecting of old manuscripts, photographs, autographs, artifacts and lockets of famous person's hair. In recent years, he became known as the leading authority on collectable historical hair. His first passion was collecting antique cars and even won the Concourse de Elegance in Meadow Brook, MI. He was an active member of several antique car clubs including the VMCCA, the Buick Club and the Packard Club. In the last several years, he drove his 1931 Packard and rare 1931 Hupmobile with his grandchildren in the annual Grosse Pointe Thanksgiving Parade. Lou especially enjoyed fishing with family whenever he had the chance. He treasured his familys and was a great inspiration to all of them. Anyone who had the good fortune of knowing Lou would tell you he had an incredible passion for life that was contagious. Lou was the true Reissuance man who lived life to its fullest right up to the day he passed.

He is survived by his first family former wife and lifelong friend Anita Mushro, their children Julie, Gregory (Sara), Mark (Nora), Amy (Billy) Rose and grandchildren Noelle and Dorothea Mushro, Derek and Lauren Mushro, Jameson and Olivia Rose. And his second family and long time partner Ann Flanagan, and her children Kathleen (Carlos), Susan (Rob), Michael and Mark and the extended Flanagan family. The funeral mass will be held Saturday, May 31st at 12:00 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea, 467 Fairford Rd, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 with a celebration of his life directly afterwards.

Lloyd Chester Wright

Lloyd Chester Wright died on May 19 after a long illness. He was 68. Born January 7, 1944, in Bay City, the son of the late Chester and Grace (Keeler) Wright, Lloyd graduated in 1962 from Midland High School, and later from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in photography. He married Jill Timmer Vanderlaan in 1981.

Lloyd Chester Wright
A commercial photographer having worked as director of photography at Bradford-LaRiviere in Saginaw and Midland, he later opening his own studio, Lloyd C. Wright Photography, in Saginaw. Always an avid collector, Lloyd spent many hours searching for cameras and daguerreotypes, though nearly anything collectible caught his eye. He never passed up an auction or antique sale and was often found prowling The Antique Warehouse. Lloyd was a member of the Daguerreian Society, through which he had many friends.

Lloyd is survived by his wife, Jill; sons Timothy (Karen) Wright of Ann Arbor, Bradley (Helen) Wright of Charlotte, N.C., Jason (Beckey) Wright of Chardon, Ohio; and by seven grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Neal (Susan) Wright of Ann Arbor, and by his former wife, Ruth (Ken) Anderson of Saginaw. His stepfather, Elbert Hubbard of Midland predeceased him.

A memorial reception will be held from 1 to 4 on Saturday, June 2, 2012 in the Castle Room at Timbers, 6415 State Street, Saginaw, MI 48603, (989) 790-2345.

Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy may wish to consider The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (

To contact the family:

The Daguerreian Society was honored having Lloyd C. Wright as a member of the Society for many years. His will be missed.

Wiley Devere Sanderson, Jr.

Wiley Devere Sanderson, Jr., pinhole photographer and Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Georgia, died July 30, 2011, in Athens, Georgia.

Wiley Devere Sanderson, Jr.
Mr. Sanderson was born August 26, 1918, in Detroit, Michigan, to Wiley Dexter Sanderson and Frances Glee Benson. He received his first camera, a Kodak Brownie Box, when he was eight. In high school, he was an assistant instructor for Eastman Kodak.

He attended Olivet College and Mill College/New Bauhaus, where he studied with Lazlo Moholy-Nagy and Georgy Kepes. From 1940-1945, he served as Instrument Flying Instructor in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He completed his BFA in industrial design from Wayne State University in 1947, and completed his MFA in Metalwork at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1949.

Wiley joined the art faculty at the University of Georgia in 1949 and taught for 40 years, retiring in 1989. He initiated the Weaving Textiles and Metal Works programs in the department. In 1953, he introduced Pinhole Photography, one of the first photography courses in the U.S. at the college level. In 1964, Sanderson became Area Chair of Photographic Design, and was replaced by four full-time faculty members in Fabric Design and Metalwork of Jewelry.

Mr. Sanderson photographed extensively in Italy, China, and Israel. His pinhole photographs are in numerous museums and collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.), the Bibliotheque National (Paris, France), the American Academy (Rome, Italy), and the Royal Photographic Society and the Fox Talbot Museum (England). His photographs have been published nationally and internationally, most recently in the Smithsonian and on its website, in May 2000.

Sanderson was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Wiley Dexter Sanderson Jr.; his sister, Dorothea Sanderson Teets; and his first wife, Roz Nagle.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Mary Sayer Hammond, of Athens; his daughters, Sandra Bullock (Larry), of Brunswick, GA, Janet Johnson (Keith), of Marietta, GA, and Fran Wingfield (Terry), of Bethesda, MD; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Mr. Sanderson was a family member of Beech Haven Baptist Church, Athens, GA. He had participated in three mission trips to Utah and Vermont, and sang bass in the Sanctuary Choir.

A memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 7, 2011 at the Beech Haven Baptist Church, 2390 West Broad Street, Athens, GA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mr. Sanderson's name to the Idaho Mission Trip at Beech Haven Baptist Church.

John Scott Craig

Noted photo-journalist, photo-historian and Daguerreian author John Scott Craig died of cancer peacefully at home in Connecticut, Friday February 25, 2011.

John S. Craig
Born October 23, 1943 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to the late John S. Craig, II and Frances Craig (nee Gallagher), Craig graduated from the Shadyside Academy and went on to receive his BA from Wesleyan University in 1965. His interest in antique photography began about 1969; fueled from working as a photographer/reporter at the Hartford Courant while in college. After graduation, Craig spent another six years with The Courant, as well as owning his own retail camera store in Simsbury, and serving as a photographer with the Connecticut Army National Guard.

One of the first "professional" full-time dealers in photographica in this country, Craig published a catalog in 1970 and inadvertently became a photographic historian. Craig was the Founding President of the New England Photographic Historical Society. He was active before SHUTTERBUG magazine's publication, and then wrote a column for them, opining about the various collector's shows around the country.

Highlights of Craig's career came in three interviews and photo sessions with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a 1960s/1970s interview with the hugely controversial figure, Timothy Leary. During the August 1967 racial violence that erupted in New Haven CT, Craig was deployed to cover the unrest with a camera. Craig's logo of the early photographer standing behind his camera, with the dark cloth over his head, was registered as his world-wide trademark in 1973. For years he has attended collector's shows from coast to coast; been the subject of mention in Popular Photography, The Rangefinder, Camera and Darkroom, and numerous other publications.

As a photographic dealer, he carried more than 155,000 instruction booklets for thousands of cameras, accessories and projectors; and nearly 10,000 other interesting photography items. As early as 1971, Craig published reprints of early photographic catalogs, usable and classic camera instruction booklets, and worthwhile camera repair manuals.

The distinguished Craig's Daguerreian Registry, the acknowledged reference work among dealers and collector's for identifying and dating the more than 12,000 photographers, who worked in the United States prior to 1860, was published in 1994 with subsequent editions.

Craig began attending collector's shows and flea markets in the early 1970's. Professionally, he was a faithful attendee and dealer at the annual Daguerreian Society Symposiums, most recently in Atlanta. In 2007, the Daguerreian Society awarded Craig its first Fellowship Award, inscribed with these words: For the advancement of scholarship in the field of photo history and the willingness to share that knowledge with his contemporaries and future generation of historians, scholars and collectors.

Survived by his beloved wife, the Hon. Joyce Krutick Craig (Ret.), Craig was the devoted father of Samuel Walker Craig of Hawaii, step-son Ian Barlow and wife Heather Tasker Barlow of Washington DC, and doting grandfather to Harper Isabel Barlow. His daughter, Sarah Theresa Craig predeceased him in 1996. A celebration of Craig's life will be held at his home in the early summer. His wife is in charge of arrangements.

John's family has suggested donations in his memory be made to The Daguerreian Society, PO Box 306, Cecil, PA 15321-0306 (you may also use the PayPal "Donate" button here), or to The Lymphoma Research Foundation, 115 Broadway, Suite 1301, New York, NY 10006.

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