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Pioneering Poet of Light: Photographer Florence Vandamm & the Vandamm Studio


Perhaps the most widely published and least understood visual record of 20th century performing arts, the output of the Vandamm Studio has largely been utilized only as illustrative backdrop for the retelling of Broadway history.  The prints, contact sheets, and negatives of theater, music and dance in London (1908 – 1923) and New York (1924 – 1963) are among the Library for the Performing Arts’ most requested treasures.   Few are aware that the visionary photographer and portraitist who lent her talent and name to the studio was – a woman and one who opened her first studio in 1908! With a career spanning over five decades, Florence Vandamm was one of the most prolific and widely published female commercial photographers of the early 20th century.Helen Chandler (Marguerite) and Douglas Montgomery (Valentine)., Digital ID 498846, New York Public LibraryRe-discovered image from a glass negative of the Theatre Guild's 1928 production of Faust