BT's hearing impairment was probably instrumental in her choice of photography as a career. However, later in life, after leaving photography and Chicago for life back in Winneconne, Wisconsin, she became a dealer for the then state-of-the-art hearing aid, the Lieber Oscillator, made by Sonotone Corporation.
“Two Women Picture-Makers: They Represented American Women in Artistic Photography at Paris
The work of American women in artistic photography has been represented at Paris by two delegates, both of whom are ably fitted by reason of talent and artistic achievement, to speak for the feminine exponents of the profession. Miss Beatrice Tonnesen read a paper before the International Congress of Photography at the Paris Exposition. Miss Tonnesen is a Western girl, coming originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Her professional career is, however, identified with Chicago, and from a provincial girl, equipped with the foundation of a thorough technical knowledge of photography, she has become a well known business woman of the metropolis of the West, with a thorough understanding of photography as a fine art.”
At the website Seven Roads, I found the trade label for Osgood & Co., one of the original purchasers of at least some of the Beatrice Tonnesen images. I have found this copyright on a couple of the newspaper inserts. A Google search provided no additional information on the company. Not a particularly creative label, is it.
(This is the second in a series of articles on the works of Beatrice Tonnesen. The first appears below under the heading “Introduction.”)
Beatrice Tonnesen has not generally been recognized as a major contributor to the so-called “Golden Age of Illustration,” that period in America from about 1900-1940, when calendar art was intensely popular. Artists such as the Hintermeisters, R. Atkinson Fox, Gene Pressler, Zula Kenyon, Arthur Elsley and others carved out lucrative careers by providing the publishers and calendar companies with appealing artwork for mass consumption. Continue reading
These colorful art prints started as black and white photos by Beatrice Tonnesen. Surprised?
Please read on… and view Slideshow Album 1.
If you are a collector of early twentieth-century art prints, calendars or advertising, chances are you have works by Beatrice Tonnesen (1871-1958) in your collection. And you may not even know it!That’s because a signed Tonnesen is a relative rarity. Beatrice Tonnesen, a phenomenally successful Chicago-based photographer, was also the artistic genius behind many of the art prints that graced calendars, picture frames and magazine and newspaper ads from the turn of the last century through 1930, and beyond. Most often, it appears, her photos were unsigned and unattributed, purchased by publishers or advertisers, tinted or otherwise enhanced, and copyrighted by them for their own use. A few were signed by Tonnesen and published on her own or by others. In many of those, Tonnesen appears to have painted from her own photographs. Most surprisingly, however, some of her photographs appear to have formed the basis for art prints, painted and signed by other artists of the day. Continue reading