Howard Beach in Buffalo, NY

Beach's studio, 467 Virginia St.

4 photos of Katherine Cornell

Howard Dwight Beach
By Mark Strong
Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.
6/2007, 6/2010

Western New York artist, painter, photographer, inventor, photo-pictorialist, poet, sculptor and elocutionist.

Born in 1867 in New Britain, CT, to parents Jeremiah Osgood Beach (1841-1880) a machinist, and mother Caroline Louisa (née Dyson, 1845-1880).

Growing up he went to traditional schools in New Britain, CT, and in 1884 he moved to Buffalo, NY to apprentice with photographer Andrew Simson (German-American, -1922), Buffalo’s oldest photographer and accredited photographer for the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, 1901, who later partnered with Howard D. Beach in 1896.

About the same time he studied at Bryant and Stratton Business Institute, Buffalo, NY and also with the landscape & portrait painter and printmaker John Rummell (American, 1861-). He furthered his studies at the Buffalo Art School and at the University of Buffalo (courses in chemistry and photography), both in Buffalo, NY.

In 1896 he partnered with friend and former photography teacher Andrew Simson’s (German-American, -1922) Photographic Studio which became “Simson & Beach”, 456 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. In 1900 he purchased the remainder of Mr. Simson’s interest in “Simson & Beach” to open his own photographic studio at the same location.

In 1908, Beach purchased the Eleck F. Hall’s (American, 1857-) Photographic Studio (E.F. Hall & Co.) and moved his entire photographic business there, which was located at 469 Virginia Street in Buffalo. Hall continued to operate there with Beach as “Hall’s Photographic Studios” until 1913.

Beach’s studio was also known for photographing the Native American Indians who had participated in the Indian Congress at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. He had many famous clients such as; Katharine Cornell (American, 1893-1974) a stage actress from the 1920’s-50’s, and artist-writer & critic Carl Sadakichi Hartmann (Japanese-American, 1867-1944).

His inventions included; the Mutotone photographic process, a universal-focus lens, a new bi-focal lens and the first concentric varifocal lens which was a design that incorporated a homogeneous lens that used an aspheric surface to create the radial progressive power.

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