The Daguerreian Society

From Gleason's Pictorial (Boston) Vol. 6, No. 6 (11 February 1854) pg. 88.


The monument to Daguerre, the inventor of the art which bears his name, a view of which is here give, was erected to his memory in the cemetery of Bry San Marne, France, by the "Societe Libre des Beaux Arts." The inauguration took place on the 10th of August, 1851, on which occasion the members of the society and the inhabitants of Petit Bry, with an immense concourse of spectators, assembled to witness the ceremonies. In the vault there is a place left vacant for the widow of M. Daguerre when she ends her mortal career. Bry San Marne is a small village where Daguerre lived and died. He lived in a chateau, and had beautiful grounds attached to it; here also he had his laboratory and observatory for experiments. Since his death, his widow and niece have resided together in a small cottage close by, and the chateau is let; his widow is left in very good circumstances, it is supposed. The picture from which our engraving is copied, was taken by Mr. H. W. Meade, while on a visit to Europe in May, 1853. Daguerre's widow is much respected by the inhabitants of the village. In the church behind the altar may be seen one of Daguerre's magical paintings, a number of which were exhibited some years ago in America, and destroyed by fire. On the front of the monument, with a medallion, is the following inscription:—"A Daguerre. La Societe Libre des Beaux Arts, 1851." On the back of the monument, "Le Conseil Municipal de Bry a Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre. Ne a cormeille en Paris, le 18 Novembre, 1787. Decedee a Bry, le 10 Juillet, 1851. Concession de Terrain, Gratuite et Perpetuelle, Deliberation du 10 Avut, 1851." A subscription was started in America to assist in defraying the expenses of this monument, but it has never been completed; the amount which has been received has been paid over to the society in Paris. Daguerre himself could little foresee the perfection which his great discovery would be brought to, even during his own life; and the present state of the art is as much beyond the excellence it had reached in his hand, as its discovery was wonderful at the outset. In its present perfected state it is of immense value in all departments of art, and mechanics also, in the transmissions of designs, duplicates of machinery, etc. So cheap has the process become, that there a few families so poor but will have their respective members depicted by daguerreotype. The business has become vastly extended within a couple of years past, and gives employment to a very large class of artists. One cannot walk through the principal streets of any of our cities without observing encased and hanging by the entrance to the buildings rich pictures, portraits, etc., the result of the daguerreian process.

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

A related text is also available, "Inauguration of the Monument to Daguerre at Bry-sur-Marne"

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