US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born May 18: Gertrude Kasebier

May 18, 2015 04:00 AM

A set of 20 stamps issued in 2002 titled Masters of American Photography honored leaders in the art form and included one tribute to Gertrude Kasebier, who was born May 18, 1852.

The 37¢ stamp (Scott 3649d) features a portrait titled Blessed Art Thou Among Women that shows author Agnes Rand Lee and her daughter Peggy in a photograph from 1899. The inscription on the back of the stamp pane liner reads, in part, "Eminent portrait photographer Gertrude Kasebier (1852-1934), whose best known images are those of mothers and children, pioneered an evocative soft-focus style that established her as a guiding force in the pictorialist movement."

Kasebier was born Gertrude Staton in an Iowa log cabin, marrying Eduard Kasebier in 1874. She studied painting at art school but found art photography an allure that allowed her to express herself more fully. She worked as a portrait photographer to earn money, and her photographs were featured in major exhibitions.

Her many success during her lifetime included an 1898-99 series of portraits of American Indians. She also created photographs to be published in works of fiction and in magazines.