A Previously Unrecorded Photograph of Whitman at His Mickle Street Home

By Folsom, Ed | Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

A Previously Unrecorded Photograph of Whitman at His Mickle Street Home


Folsom, Ed, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review


On the Back Cover: A PREVIOUSLY UNR ECOR DED PHOTOGR APH OF WHITMAN AT HIS MICKLE STREET HOME

The previously unrecorded photograph of Whitman sitting in his rocking chair in his Mickle Street home in Camden, New Jersey, was recently added to the Kendall Reed Collection. Notes on the back of the photograph indi- cate it was originally part of the Frank J. and Harriet Sprague Collection of Whitman materials.

One of the most striking of the late photographs of Whitman, this one was likely taken by Frank P. Harned, the brother of W hitman's close friend and one of his literary executors Thomas Harned, who took another photograph in the same setting and probably in the same session, circa 1887. The known Harned photograph is reprinted here next to the newly discovered one. Notice the covered window and curtain backdrop, as well as the identical positioning of the same objects on the shelf below the window, where, in the new photo, we can see one of Whitman's omnipresent notebooks, along with his tea cup and his pen.

Whitman's only comment to Horace Traubel about Harned's photos indi- cated that he "has not seemed to like Frank Harned's pictures. …

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