William E. Dassonville,
California Photographer (1879 - 1957)

Researched and Edited by Susan Herzig and Paul Hertzmann with an essay by Peter Palmquist

This important new publication is the first monograph on the life and work of William E. Dassonville.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, San Francisco photographer William Dassonville (1879-1957) rapidly gained national and international acclaim for his evocative studies of the California landscape and his insightful portraits. His photographs hung in exhibitions alongside the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Clarence White, Gertrude Kasebier and other important members of the Photo-Secession.

As an active member of the Arts and Crafts movement, he exhibited with artists such as John Gamble and Gottardo Piazzoni. His images were frequently published in books and magazines both in America and Europe.

Dassonville's success led to friendships with prominent figures in commerce and art, including California painters William Keith and Maynard Dixon. He hobnobbed with naturalist John Muir and corresponded with Alvin Langdon Coburn. Each of these men sat for their portraits in Dassonville's studio in downtown San Francisco.

While Dassonville created an outstanding body of fine photographs in the pictorialist tradition, he was, as well, an innnovative and skillful craftsman and self-taught chemist. He developed and marketed his own line of photographic printing papers called Charcoal Black, prized by the most demanding of photographers.

Ansel Adams, who printed the photographs for his book, Taos Pueblo, on Dassonville's paper, later lamented that he never again “found a paper that had the particular qualities of Dassonville's Charcoal Black.”

“Dassonville's photographic legacy is considerable, including an outstanding body of fine photographs in the pictorialist tradition.”
~ Peter Palmquist, Photo Historian

112 pages, 10-½" x 9" 48 color and duotone plates printed at 200 line screen. Bibliography, Index, Appendices.
ISBN # 1-887694-15-3 paper

Price: 25.00


ISBN # 1-887694-16-1 cloth. Price: 45.00  reduced to $40


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