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Apr 2, 2016. - Apr 2, 2017.

Harry C. Mann: Norfolk Photographer

At the Willoughby-Baylor House

At the Willoughby-Baylor House
601 E. Freemason St., Norfolk Va.

This exhibition features the work of Harry Cowles Mann (1866–1926), Norfolk's most prolific photographer during an era when downtown construction and maritime traffic were booming.

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Harry Mann. Photo courtesy of the College of William and Mary, Earl Gregg Swem Library, Special Collections.

A Petersburg native, the amateur photographer became a professional during the great Jamestown Exposition of 1907. He went from being part of a corps of photographers documenting the Expo’s spectacle of technology, art, and trade to opening a commercial studio downtown at 286 Main Street.

In addition to portrait services, he sold views of local architecture and of regional beaches and wetlands. His work was published in National Geographic three times.

By the time Mann’s studio closed in 1924, he had produced and published thousands of photographs. Today his images of Norfolk offer valuable glimpses of the city during a moment of rapid change, and his artistic landscapes celebrate the timeless natural beauty of our area.

This exhibition, which presents 50 of his finest photographs from the Chrysler Collection, was organized by Crawford Alexander Mann III, our Brock Curator of American Art, with assistance from Stephanie Deach, Virginia Wesleyan College, 2016.

Harry C. Mann
City Hall Avenue, Norfolk, Va., Looking West
Gelatin silver print (photograph) on texturized paper
ca. 1912-15

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That's the Monticello Arcade on the left, photographed at a time when customers arrived by buggies, cars and trains.