[Photo Portrait of Maria Louisa Owen.]. Jas? Homan?, photog.
[Photo Portrait of Maria Louisa Owen.]

[Photo Portrait of Maria Louisa Owen.]

[Nantucket?, Massachusetts], 1905. Photographic portrait (16” x 13”) in original oak frame (25” x 22”). Owen’s inscription on card, “Your very truly, Maria L. Owen,” behind glass in bottom-right corner. Signed and dated in pencil by photographer at lower right, possibly “Jas Homan.”.

A formal portrait photograph of Nantucket Island botanist Maria Louisa Owen in her later years, framed with a card bearing her signature and inscription.

In this rare large-format photograph, a self-composed Owen is seated in a chair, with her right hand at her chin, holding an ear trumpet in her left hand.

Botanist Maria Louisa Owen (1825–1913) studied and compiled records of pre-1853 flora and algae of Nantucket and authored Catalogue of Plants Growing Without Cultivation in the County of Nantucket, Massachusetts (1888). A descendent of early American settlers Tristam Coffin, Hugh Tallant—mentioned by Whittier in “The Sycamores”—and the Weld family from Roxbury, Owen also taught at the Perkins School for the Blind and Nantucket High School in the 1840s, and continued her research until a year before her death at eighty-eight years old. Owen’s identification of 787 species from the nineteenth century serves today as a useful tool for scientific study of the effects of climate change on plants.

A rare portrait of this notable Nantucket woman.

CONDITION: Some staining in the background and on the sitter’s dress, but face unaffected.

Item #5573

Price: $975.00

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