Gertrude Käsebier

Gertrude Kasebier was an American photographer who studied painting at the Pratt Institute in New York as well as in France and Germany.

Kasebier began her professional photographic career in 1894, as a magazine illustrator, in 1898 she opened a portrait studio in New York. Some of her portrait subjects included Auguste Rodin and chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit.

Käsebier was a founding member of the Photo-Secession group.

She generally printed on platinum or gum bichromate emulsions and often altered her photographs by retouching a negative or by rephotographing an altered print. She was the leading woman pictorialist.

Kasebier’s images are dreamy and romantic. And her story is interesting. She was married at 22, to a socially well-placed and financially able businessman. They had 3 children. But Kasebier was unsatisfied. She wrote that she was miserable throughout most of her marriage and said, "If my husband has gone to Heaven, I want to go to Hell. He was terrible...Nothing was ever good enough for him.”

At that time divorce was a scandalous thing, so the couple remained married while living separate lives. Her husband supported her financially and she decided to attend art school at the age of 37, an age when most women were pretty much done - she was just getting started!