Yale Janitor Albumen Print on Album Page, Yale University, ca 1868

George Kendall Warren: New Haven, Connecticut n.d., ca 1868. Oval albumen photograph, 5.5 x 7.75 in., mounted to 10 x 12.75 in., of an African American man seated in an interior space and posed with a flat broom, a large basket, and a set of keys. He wears a cardigan sweater and a brimless straw hat. Credited to "Warren Phot." at lower left. Library of Congress holdings identify the subject as "Smith, The Sweep," one of several janitors and chimney sweeps employed by Yale during the second half of the nineteenth century.

George Kendall Warren (American, ca 1824-1884) had worked primarily as a photographer of celebrity portraits prior to the Civil War but transitioned exclusively to university photography at the war's onset. He opened a studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1863 and captured portraits of students, faculty, and staff, as well as campus architecture and scenery for Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, Williams, and Yale.


Photograph with light toning and some minor surface blemishes. Mount with unevenness to left margin, as expected given extraction from album.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
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