Seneca Ray Stoddard
Also Known as: S. R. Stoddard
Wilton, New York 1844
Glens Falls, New York 1917
Although Stoddard began his career as a railroad-car-decorator, an 1867 issue of the Glen Falls, New York, newspaper referred to him as a landscape photographer. He is best known for his work in the Adirondack wilderness. Produced as both single prints and stereographs, Stoddard's photographs contributed to a mythic appreciation of the Adirondacks, even as they describe the development of the area. His photographs of evening camplife, made with a magnesium flash, are a reminder of the intrusion of the sportsman.
Working for Wiliam West Durant's Adirondack Railway, he documented the construction of a northern route to an area increasingly visited by urban tourists. In the photograph of Eaglewood Cliffs, New Jersey, [SAAM, 1994.91.175] Stoddard integrates the sublime attractions of nature with the effects of railroad construction.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)