Cincinnati: J.P. Ball's Photographic Gallery, 1864. Carte-de-visite photograph on larger mount. Writing on verso in ink reads “No. 2. Oct 19/64 / Old Sod.” Some light toning to recto, near fine overall, quite well preserved. Item #List1403
An uncommon folk art form, captured on film by the African-American photographer James Presley Ball at his studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. The image was likely commissioned as part of a series. Ball was highly successful at the time of the picture’s taking, with figures such as Frederick Douglass, Jenny Lind, and the orator Henry H. Garnet seeking out his services during his time operating a studio in Cincinnati. Ball would later move to Minneapolis, then to Montana with his son James Presley Jr. The vast majority of Ball’s work is formal portraiture, making this image quite unusual.