1870s Cdv Photo Of Martha Maxwell Colorado Naturalist Hunter Taxidermist #2 For SaleVery Rare and original, ca1870, CDV Photograph of Mrs. Martha A. Maxwell – Colorado Frontierswoman, hunter, naturalist and the first accomplished female taxidermist in the United States. The CDV Photo is titled "Mrs. M. A. Maxwell's Rocky Mountain Series" and pictures the very attractive outdoorswoman in a photographer's studio with her double barrel shotgun in hand and her hunting dog (a water spaniel) at her feet.
In this Portrait Martha Maxwell holds a muzzle-loading double barrel shotgun and carries a leather shot flask and macramé gamebag on straps slug around her neck and across her shoulder. At her feet rests her faithful water spaniel hunting dog. One historian writes, "When Martha Maxwell went collecting, she slipped on bloomers, or "Turkish trousers," as she called them. She added a medium-length dress, jacket, and long, hobnailed boots. She wore a wide-brimmed hat and carried a mesh game bag, ammunition, and a shotgun. Usually, her faithful water spaniel accompanied her. Off they went, looking for unusual birds or small mammals. She was a deadly shot and had a keen eye for nature. Her hunting costume, as she called it, was of strong material, with a brown-and-white checked color to blend in with the woods, one of neutral tint and firm texture."
The Photograph itself measures approx. 2 1/4” by 3 1/2” and is mounted on its original Card Mount (the mount measures 2 1/2” by 4 1/8”). The Image does not carry the mark of the photographer but is marked "Copy-right Secured" and was published by Martha Maxwell herself as a means of raising funds to support herself and her work.
Martha Ann Maxwell (1831–1881) was a self-educated naturalist and artist born in Pennsylvania who traveled to the Colorado Territory with the first wave of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1860. She helped found modern taxidermy. Martha was the first woman to collect and prepare her own skins and mounts. She discovered Otus asio maxwelliae (the Maxwell Owl) as well as a number of other species not previously known to live in the Colorado Territory. Both naturalist and taxidermist Mrs. Maxwell has a unique historical connection to museums. In an effort to preserve a record of Colorado's wildlife, Maxwell created dynamic displays of wild animals. She single-handedly mounted and arranged them in detailed realistic habitats.
In 1876, she exhibited one such diorama at the Philadelphia Centennial under the title "Woman's Work." Her work directly influenced the design of later museum dioramas. Maxwell camped and hunted for specimens in the mountains around Boulder, studied chemistry and biology, and was a gifted self-taught naturalist. She helped found modern taxidermy. Martha was the first woman to collect and prepare her own skins and mounts. She discovered Otus asio maxwelliae (the Maxwell Owl) as well as a number of other species not previously known to live in the Colorado Territory. Martha Maxwell was also a vegetarian throughout her life
The following is from the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame entry for Martha Ann Dartt Maxwell:
"Martha Dartt Maxwell, only five feet tall and a lifelong vegetarian, became an accomplished hunter and taxidermist whose work changed the look of natural history museums forever. When a child, her grandmother exposed her to the natural beauty of the Pennsylvania wilderness. Martha arrived in Colorado in 1863 and became inspired when she saw the work of a local taxidermist. After resettling near Boulder, she began hunting regularly and skinned her own animals for artistic endeavors. In 1868 she opened a museum in Boulder and later showed her stuffed mammals and birds at the Colorado Agricultural Society Fair in Denver and the American Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. Both displays were a huge success and became predecessors of today’s dioramas that depict animals in their natural habitat. Martha was the first woman to have a subspecies named after her."
Click Here to read more About the Fascinating and “Legendary” Life of Martha Maxwell.
This rare and wonderful original, ca1870 Albumen CDV Photograph of Martha Maxwell is very good condition. The Photograph itself is clean and crisp exhibiting sharp focus, strong contrast and rich tonality although there is a light, 3/4" crease at the upper right hand corner. The Card Mount is also clean and crisp with very light edge wear and the same short crease mentioned above. A well preserved, wonderful and classic Western Americana “Mountain Woman” Photograph of one of the most important early American Naturalists and Taxidermists.
A very rare and wonderful, ca1870, CDV Photograph of Colorado Frontierswoman, hunter, naturalist and the first accomplished female taxidermist in the United States - Mrs. Martha A. Maxwell and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
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