Page 43 - March2017

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Utilizing his connections in society to gain a national reputation for his photography,
Rose served as a Texas officer in the Photographer’s Association of America in 1880.
Building upon these connections enabled him to obtain advanced equipment as well
as access to sitters whose reputations he could publicize.
Portraiture was a mainstay of the studio, but he soon branched out to include
architectural photography, event work, and the conversion of customers’
daguerreotypes into paper prints. An 1883 newspaper ad announced that the Rose
Studio also offered stereoscopic views for sale, which was a keen business move
popular with Galvestonians and tourists.
Additionally, the ad touted the service of creating prints from earlier sessions. “The
public are advised that I have purchased all of the negatives made at the Blessing
Gallery over the years through 1881 and am prepared to furnish duplicates from
them or any of my own negatives.” The charge for new sessions, incidentally, was a
competitive $2.30 per dozen for cabinet cards—almost a dollar less than other island
The same year this ad appeared, Rose traveled to the east coast to inspect state of
the art equipment and contract with photographic supply companies. During that
trip, he developed a plan to move to Rhode Island to take advantage of the society,
celebrity, and event work there. In the meantime, he returned to Galveston to
operate the island studio and secure backing for his next venture.
For a short time around 1886, Rose partnered with Chattanoogan photographer
Marcus Elias Schmedling, forming Rose & Schmedling, but the Norwegian immigrant
soon returned to Tennessee to open his own studio. The studio reverted to the
name Rose Gallery until he formed an alliance with Justus Zahn, and the name Rose
& Zahn was used for the studio.
Soon afterward, Rose moved with his wife and two small daughters to Providence,
Rhode Island where he opened the studio of his dreams and simultaneously
culminated a career with a studio in Manhattan. Zahn was left behind to run the
Galveston studio and in 1888 bought out Rose’s share of the business.
Expanding on society connections he gained in Galveston, Rose opened Ye Rose
Studio that soon became a requisite stop for performers touring New England. The
same customers frequented the Fifth
Avenue location where Rose also worked.
Rose remained a fashionable theatrical
photographer until the early the 20th
century, when he became a favorite
photographer for New England’s
ministers. He worked until his death
in 1926.
Justus Zahn
After his brief association with Philip
Rose, German photographer Justus
Zahn went on to become the most
prolific Galveston photographer of
his era, creating over 30,000 images
of Galvestonians and their city. Many
of his photographs can be found in
the collection of Rosenberg Library’s
Galveston and Texas History Center,
and other archives across the state and
Zahn was born in Germany in 1847, where
his father was a Supreme Court Judge
for many years. He attended prestigious
universities at both Marburg and Leipzig,
and at the age of 22 traveled to America
for the first time to visit his maternal
grandfather in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The following year he returned to
Germany to fight in the Franco-Prussian
Justus Zahn, his wife and
their oldest daughter
Zahn daughters
Images courtesy of Rosenberg Libray Museum
Past & PresenT |
Galveston history
MARCH 2017 |