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WATSON, Edith

Born
East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1861
Died
St. Petersburg, Florida, 1943
Biography synopsis
Before turning to photography Edith Watson painted and exhibited along with her sister, Amelia, who was a successful watercolourist. In the 1890s she studied photography with her uncle, Sereno Watson, who taught photography at Harvard University. In 1896 Watson traveled to Canada and spent the next thirty-five years traveling across the country photographing rural life. She concentrated on images of women at work in a variety of rural communities, including Newfoundland outposts, Doukhobor communities in British Columbia, and Haida villages on the West Coast. In 1911 Watson met Bermudian journalist Victoria Hayward. The two lived and worked together for many years, writing numerous magazine articles and publishing a book of photography entitled "Romantic Canada" in 1922. Watson also did publicity shots for hotels, railway lines, and various other companies. Her photographs were exhibited at the Boston Art Club, the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, and, more recently, at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in Halifax in 1992.
Media used
Photography
Watercolour
File & Archive locations
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
McCord Museum Archives, QC
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Carlevaris, Anna Maria. Photography, Immigration, and Canadianism: 1896-1921 Montreal: Concordia University, 1992
Carlevaris, Anna Maria. "Edith S. Watson and Romantic Canada (1922)." History of Photography 20.2 (Summer 1996): 163-165
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Canadian Home Industries and Simple Handicrafts." The Canadian Magazine Mar. 1925: 34-37, 61
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Mennonites of Manitoba." The Canadian Magazine May 1925: 102-103
Jones, Laura. Rediscovery: Canadian Women Photographers 1841-1941, May 13th-June 27th, 1983. London, Ontario: London Regional Art Gallery, 1983
Petteys, Chris, et al. Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985
Rooney, Frances. Edith S. Watson: Rural Canadians at Work, 1890-1920. Sackville, New Brunswick: Owens Art Gallery, 1991
Rooney, Frances. Extraordinary Women Explorers. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2005
Rooney, Frances. My Dear, Dear Edith. Galiano Island, British Columbia: Nuse Gallery, 1994
Rooney, Frances. Working Light: The Wandering Life of Photographer Edith S. Watson. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1996
Rooney, Frances. Working the Rock : Newfoundland and Labrador in the photographs of Edith S. Watson, 1890-1930 Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Nfld. & Lab.: Boulder Publications, 2017
Rooney, Frances. "Edith S. Watson, Photographer, and Victoria Hayward, Writer." Fireweed 13 (1982): 60-68
Rooney, Frances. "Edith S. Watson: A Photoessay." Canadian Woman Studies / Les cahiers de la femme 7.3 (Fall 1986): 48-49
Rooney, Frances. "Edith S. Watson: Photographing Women in Rural Canada." International Journal of Canadian Studies 11 (Mar. 1995): 185-194
Rooney, Frances. "Finding Edith Watson." Resources for Feminist Research / Documentation sur la recherche féministe 12.1 (Mar. 1983): 26-28
Rosenblum, Naomi. A History of Women Photographers. New York: Abbeville, 2000
Skidmore, Colleen. Rare Merit: Women in Photography in Canada, 1840-1940 Vancouver, B.C.: UBC Press, 2022

Writings by
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. Romantic Canada. Toronto: MacMillan, 1922
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Abenaki Basket-makers." The Canadian Magazine (Aug. 1922): 313-320
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Bubble, Bubble, Bubble." The Canadian Magazine (Jan. 1920): 213-219
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Foreign Women Who Work for Canada." The Canadian Magazine (Nov. 1918): 553-563
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Indian Lorette." The Canadian Magazine (Apr. 1920): 495-502
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Jobin - The Wood-carver." The Canadian Magazine (Dec. 1922): 20-100
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Mine Host - the Mennonite." The Canadian Magazine (Nov. 1921): 63-70
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Papyri Truly Canadian." The Canadian Magazine (Dec. 1923): 87-99
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Rediscovering Bermuda." The Canadian Magazine (Jan. 1925): 516-525
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Romance and the Two-wheeled Cart." The Canadian Magazine (Jul. 1922): 236-242
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Sea-Coast Homes of our Maritime Provinces." The Canadian Magazine (Dec. 1921): 99-100
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "The Doukhobours, A Community Race in Canada." The Canadian Magazine (Sept. 1918): 457-468
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "The Indians of Alert Bay." The Canadian Magazine (Sept. 1918): 371-392
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Vikings of the North." Outing 70 (Mar. 1917): 688-695
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Wayside Crosses and Garden Shrines." The Canadian Magazine (Dec. 1920): 137-144
Hayward, Victoria, and Edith S. Watson. "Women Workers in Canada." The Canadian Magazine 50.5 (Mar. 1918): 386-396
Watson, Edith S. "Illustrating Homely Industries of Doukhobors Settled in British Columbia." The Canadian Magazine 56 (Dec. 1920): 129-136
Watson, Edith S. "Where Time Stands Still: A Camera Trip [to Newfoundland]." Outing (Mar. 1915): 681-688

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