Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864 – 1952) was born in Grafton, West Virginia. An independent and strong-willed young woman, she wrote articles for periodicals before finding her creative outlet through photography after she was given her first camera by George Eastman, a close friend of the family and inventor of the new, lighter Eastman Kodak cameras. She received training in photography and darkroom techniques from Thomas Smillie, director of photography at the Smithsonian. Well connected among elite society, she was commissioned by magazines to do “celebrity" portraits, such as Alice Roosevelt's wedding portrait and was dubbed the “Photographer to the American court.” (Photo shot in unknown location, USA, 1903. Photo sponsor: Judy Edwards.)


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