Before White was able to become a full-time artist and teacher, he worked for nearly a decade in Newark, Ohio, balancing a bookkeeping job with his avocation as a photographer. Featured in the third issue of Camera Work, White received international recognition for his work. His strength was composition, prompting one critic to write: “Study White carefully for what he can teach you about the proper adjustment of his subjects to the spaces they occupy.” In 1906 he moved to New York and assisted Alfred Stieglitz in the operation of his newly opened gallery.
White’s work often features his wife and children as models and frequently captures an intimate moment. This study of his young son combines the spontaneity of a family snapshot with the beauty of a well-made portrait. [Clarence H. White, Jr.; SAAM; 1994.91.286] On the wall hangs a framed print of White’s 1902 photograph The Orchard, a neat compositional balance to the child.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)