Photos by the Goodlander Sisters studio:
This beautiful portrait in an paper mat:
The mat is actually part of a folder, and the cover contains the studio stamp:
This image from 1942 shows a very different style, and indicates that the Goodlander Sisters studio also did class photos:
Sample ads from the Goodland Sisters Studio:
Photos of the family:
1959 Photo of Maude and Maybelle Goodlander as part of the Muncie, Indiana Photographers group:
1906 Photo and article about their dog, Sam:
From the Scranton Republican, February 25, 1906
Sam Path, with one ear up and the other down, is shown in his characteristic attitude and alone. Patch is owner in Muncie, Ind. by the Goodlander sisters. The father of these young women owns a studio in one part of town and the girls in another. The dog travels back and forth between the two places, always in mischief. In three years of his dog life he has eaten sufficient arsenic to kill a pack of hounds, he has been chewed by other canines with which he picked a figure, has been run over by a touring car, and has had the mange until at one time he was absolutely hairless. Today Patch is the liveliest canine in Muncie. His mistresses and master love him for the enemies he has made.
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Note: in the audio I may refer to the name of the photographer’s group incorrectly; it is properly titled the Women’s Federation of the Photographers Association of America.
Welcome to Photographs, Pistols & Parasols, the podcast where we celebrate early women artisan photographers.
I’m your host, Lee McIntyre.
In today’s episode, we’ll meet the Goodlander sisters, two celebrated photographers, who ran photography studios together for more than half a century!
For more information about any of the women discussed in today’s episode, visit my website at p3photographers.net.
That’s letter “p”, number “3”, photographers “dot” net.
Welcome back toPhotographs, Pistols, & Parasols The pictorialist style is a soft focused image. It’s not the straight-up photograph that you think of when you think about the cabinet cards and the early 20th century photos that are done in the studios. This is something that’s manipulated in a dark room to give it more of a painterly portrait. The resulting image is often delivered as a sepia tone that evokes that idea of being more of a painted portrait than a photograph.
However, the features in the image are recognizable as being a photo of the sitter.
But the Goodlander sisters don’t do just that kind of portrait. They are doing all kinds of photographic work. Everything that we have come to expect from the typical artisan studio.
Their photos also routinely appear in newspapers for society notices or of business owners, that kind of thing. They win awards, not just for those fancier types of portraits, but over the years they get awards for their photography in general from state organizations and also national organizations – groups of photographers who are rewarding images and their craft.
I mean, I found a notice though, as late as 1952 that a photo of a baby even won an award from the national stork association, which was giving awards for cute babies throughout the years.
The Goodlander sisters are also masters of advertising. They take out fancy themed ads as well as simple notices in the newspaper. I’ll include a copy of different kinds of those. There’s one cute one for mother’s day. There’s [another that’s] a promotion for getting your picture taken to send to your soldier during WWI. We saw some of that kind of in earlier episodes here on podcast. The Goodlanders were very adept at taking out these kinds of interesting ads and leveraging that kind of advertising publicity to get people into their studio to get their pictures taken.
They also have an interesting logo. It’s a silhouettes, those black silhouettes of the faces of the two sisters, and I’ll include a ad that has a copy of that logo in the ad.
They’re also just the simple notices for their studio, that are put in these little boxes in the newspaper. And what’s interesting is that [at one point] that you see their studio listed right beside their father’s studio in that kind of notice.
The Goodlander sisters were also very active in the Muncie business association. And they served over the years as officers in that group as well, leaders in their business community being there for, as I said, more than 50 years. There’s actually an ad in the 1950s that celebrate how many businesses in Muncie had been in business for more than 50 years; the Goodlander sisters of are one of about 10 that actually have been in business and all different branches of business, not just photography.
Now, Maybelle Goodlander in particular seemed like she was very well respected, an early founder and officer in the a group of professional photographers in the United States.
Maybelle was involved in 1908 when a group of women photographers decided that the women’s work and contributions to the profession of photography would be well served by having a special women’s group within the larger professional photographers of America, called the Women’s Federation of the Photographers Association of America. Maybelle was extremely active with that organization, and she served as the secretary treasurer in 1912 and eventually as the president, at least a one year, at least in 1915. I’ll include a beautiful photograph of her that appeared in publicity for that women’s group of professional photographers.
[The photo is from 1912 when Maybelle’s headshot is included in the publicity showing all the officers of the group that year.
Now the Goodlander Sisters studio was primarily in Muncie, Indiana. As I said, it opened in 1904 and it closed in 1962 after the death of Maude Goodlander.
In the 1920s though, the sisters opened a second branch in Anderson, Indiana. Their mother had been from Anderson, Indiana, and they had relatives in that town. I don’t know for sure why they opened up a studio there, and I don’t have complete dates for that studio, but their studio in Anderson seems to have been around in the late 1920s and lasted for less than 10 years, but during that entire period, they still had their original branch in Muncie, Indiana.
Maude and Maybelle continued to work together at the studio all the way up until 1959. There’s a photo of Maude and Maybelle that summer in the newspaper because they’re part of a group of photographers in Muncie who are looking to start a new professional photography organization there in Muncie.
Unfortunately, just a few months after that picture is taken, tragedy strikes. Maybelle is hospitalized with appendicitis, and after a three week stay in the hospital, Maybelle passes away at the age of 77. She leaves in an estate of $17,000 to her sister Maude.
Maude continues to run the Goodlander studio for a few more years in Muncie until her own death in 1962; Maude is 84 when she passes away of heart disease.
In early 1963 there’s a lovely tribute in the newspaper marking the end of an era of the Goodlander studios in Muncie. The article points out that with the Goodlander Sisters studio now closed, that leaves Muncie without a studio run by a Goodlander for the first time in more than 80 years!
So there you have it. Two sisters who were photographic entrepreneurs extraordinaire. Their careers of more than 60 years as photographers are among the longest I’ve run across for any photographer, male or female.
They were the daughters of a photographer, and went on to forge their own very successful careers and make their own mark on the business of photography. They left behind a legacy of not only talented photography, but also astute business acumen. Truly, they exemplify the epitome of the early woman artist and photographer.
As I mentioned, I’ll include some of the ads for the Goodlander Sisters studio, as well as some examples of the their work, in the episode notes for today.
I’ll also include that picture of their dog who ran back and forth between the sisters’ studio and the father’s studio.
As always, you’ll find all that on the website at p3photographers.net: that’s letter “p”, number “3”, photographers.net.
If you have any questions or just want to drop me a line, write to podcast “at” photographers.net.
And remember, you can follow Photographs, Pistols, & Parasols on facebook at facebook.com/p3photographers. The Facebook page is where I’ll post news and updates about the project this year. Be sure to check it out as I’ll have some exciting news to share about an upcoming talk that I’ll be giving in Marh in Port Townsend, Washington.
Anyway, that’s it for today. Thanks as always for stopping by.
Until next time, I’m Lee, and this is Photographs, Pistols, & Parasols.f