John G. Bullock Memorial Collection
Scope and Contents
John G. Bullock's photographs consist primarily of people, mostly the Bullock family, places, including the Philadelphia area and the Poconos, places with people, and John Emlen Bullock.
Other John G. Bullock materials include essays on a variety of topics, issues of "City Journal"and photographs of him. John Emlen Bullock materials include correspondence to him, mostly from family, letters by John Emlen Bullock, materials about his time in the army, and photographs of him.
Materials from other family members include photographs, correspondence, and legal documents. There are also unidentified family photographs.
"Bullock's earliest photogarphs were made with a small view camera using 4 × 5 inch Carbutt dry plates. The lenses he employed were designed for rapid exposures and reduced distortion, and included a Ross Rapid Rectilinear lens and a Grubb landscape lens. By 1886 he had a larger format camera which took 61/2 × 81/2 inch dry plates.... In 1911, he began using a roll film camera which made 3 1/2 × 5 3/4 inch negatives." The earliest prints Bullock made were on albumen paper, followed by platinum paper to give a richer image. His platinum paper was manufactured by Willis & Clements and by Buchanan Bromley & Company. Although Bullock rarely made modifications to his prints, platinum printing allowed greater flexibility in manipulation of the image. When he did manipulate his images, it was to print clouds into blank skies or to change tonality; most of these alterations were made by retouching the negative.
The person or place in front of the camera was the dominant subject matter for Bullock, with secondary importance given to light or to symbolic meaning. His subjects were mostly rural America. From 1895-1898, his subjects were almost exclusively his children.
Bullock became interested in photography in 1882; the same year, he became a member of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, later its president. He studied under the photographer John C. Browne.
Bullock had two of his photographs accepted in the first international exhibition, the Vienna Salon. Alfred Stieglitz's work was also accepted. Bullock was an organizer of the Philadelphia Photographic Salon, an annual juried competition, and his work was known to Stieglitz. In approximately 1902, the latter became director of the Photo-Secession gathering together Bullock and others as founders to forward the cause of art photography; their work was called pictorial photography. The journal of this group, CameraWork, was founded by Stieglitz the same year to further modern photogarphy. Initial exhibitions of the group resulted in international invitations to Bullock to exhibit. Bullock's last major exhibition during his lifetime was at the Albright Art Gallery in 1910.
In the period 1911-1915, Bullock embarked on a project to photograph historic buildings in the area of his home in Germantown to illustrate the book by Charles F. Jenkins The Guide Book to Historic Germantown.. He served on several local historic societies including in West Chester where he had moved in 1923. There is no evidence that he made any photographs after 1935.
These notes were taken from Beck, Tom, An American Vision: John G. Bullock and the Photo-Secession. New York: Aperture in association with University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1989 and Biographical Catalog of the Matriculates of Haverford College, 1833-1922. Philadelphia: Alumni Association, 1922.
- 1— John BULLOCK (1712)
- sp- Margaret
- 2— Isaac BULLOCK (1749)
- sp- Elizabeth ROCKHILL
- 3— John BULLOCK (1785)
- sp- Rachel GRISCOM
- 4— Charles BULLOCK (1826)
- 4— William R. BULLOCK (1824)
- sp- Elizabeth Ann EMLEN
- 5— John Griscom BULLOCK (1854)
- sp- Rebecca M. DOWNING
- 6— Marjorie BULLOCK (1889)
- 6— John Emlen BULLOCK (1891)
- 6— Francke Rumsey BULLOCK (1895)
- 6— Richard DOWNING BULLOCK (1900)
- sp- Jane PRESTON
- 1— Richard THOMAS
- sp- Rebecca MALIN (1799)
- 2— Lydia Ashbridge THOMAS
- sp- Israel W. DOWNING
- 3— Rebecca M. DOWNING
- sp- John Griscom BULLOCK (1854)
- 4— Marjorie BULLOCK (1889)
- 4— John Emlen BULLOCK (1891)
- 4— Francke Rumsey BULLOCK (1895)
- 4— Richard DOWNING BULLOCK (1900)
- sp- Jane PRESTON
- sp- Sarah THOMAS
- 2— Mary THOMAS
- sp- Jacob JONES
- 3— Richard T. JONES
- sp- Marie Louise BAILEY
- 3— Martha JONES
7.5 Linear Feet (13 boxes)
Separated Materials note
To PG: Clippings re various Bullock family members.
To Library Maps Collection: Map of North Africa,1942.
To Magill Library: The Lady of the Lake, n.d. miniature.
- John G. Bullock memorial collection, 1867-1940
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- September 2018: Finding aid revised; whole collection rehoused.
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