An avid amateur photographer and a leading spokesman for the conservative faction of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Dr. Charles L. Mitchell saw little originality in the Pictorialist photographs that were increasingly exhibited in the society’s annual Salon. He criticized Gertrude Käsebier’s works as “foggy” and described those of Clarence H. White as portraying “the ugliness cult.”
In keeping with his scientific training, Mitchell preferred straightforward representational photography. Using his camera to record the beauty he found in nature, he made no attempt to alter his vew through manipulation of the negative or print. Mitchell often traveled to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to photograph at Crawford Notch and other scenic areas in New England.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)