I have a Guerin photo 15 x 20 in a wooden/glass frame 26 x 31 inches. The photo is that of three young boys sitting on a fence. The title is "Three Jacks" and in the lower right hand corner it states "Copyright By Guerin 1890."
The picture was in my wife's famly for three generations.
We had it hanging in our dining room. During the Christmas season of 1984 my mother, who was visiting with us, asked me "what is the history of that picture?" I told her it had been handed down in my wife's family from two past generations, that was all we knew. I mother said "you should research the picture now, as it may not be possible later on as the years go by."
Her comments sent me on what I thought might be a wild goose chase. I knew my wife's grandmother was from Cincy, Ohio, so I started researching Guerins from there.
On company trips across the country I would look for Guerins in the phone books while I was in the hotel at night. Found many Guerins, many of whom were engaged in different forms of art related businesses, but no photographer. From my own background in photography and printing, I knew the photographer had to be good back in 1890 to be able to make such a large print and keep it in focus.
My first good lead came from a Guerin in Vero Beach, Florida. She put me in touch with a Guerin woman in Atlanta, who put me in touch with a Guerin woman named Charlotte Stupeck in San Francisco. Charlotte gave me all the information on Fitz William Guerin, his studios in St. Louis, Mo., articles on his camera lense, and his cemetery lot there. Three hundred plus of his photos are in the Library of Congress, some in the Kodak Museum in Rochester, NY, and imagine spread all over in attics of home across our country. Many like us, are still wondering what they found, and where did they come from!
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