Thursday, January 5, 2012

Foote notes #1

So you think you might have a photograph by L.B. Foote but you're not sure...

Well, Foote photos have a few defining characteristics.

First of all, the word "Foote" appears in white on many of his photos, usually to the right hand side with a series of numbers on the left. Though sometimes this signature of sorts appears on the left hand side or in other high-contrast areas of the photograph.

Here are examples of some of his signatures.

You'll note that one of the photo details I've included here says "Foote & James." Those are from early in Foote's career, when he was in business with George James, who apparently did most of the printing.

Also worth noting is that later photos sometimes include a longer signature. For instance, a series of images from V.E. Day 1945 included this signature: "May 7, 1945. L.B. Foote Photo."

Other ways of telling if you have a Foote photo is that he sometimes stamped the back of his prints with the following information: "L.B. Foote 492 Gertrude Ave. Telephone 41968"

If your photo has none of these markings but you're convinced that it's a Foote photo, it is also possible to check the photo against the hand-written ledgers that Foote kept, detailing his clients and a brief description of each photo's subject matter.

The ledgers are at the Archives of Manitoba and do not cover Foote's entire career but...they're better than nothing, especially when you're trying to identify a photograph.

Ariel Gordon
UMP Promotions/Editorial Assistant

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