Who was Horace A. Latimer?
Horace Latimer (1860-1931) was an independently wealthy Boston philanthropist and advanced amateur photographer, one of whose specialties was yachting photography. His involvement with the Boston Camera Club began well before the turn of the 20th century. His work is representative of the early days of amateur photographic practice, when men and women of means traveled the world with their cameras, often achieving high artistic results worthy of established professionals of the time. A photograph by Latimer was exhibited at the Smithsonian in 1896
However, it was the 1931 bequest of Horace A. Latimer that truly enabled the Boston Camera Club to retain its role as the leading forum for serious amateur photography in the Boston area for the remainder of the twentieth century. Used initially in part to fund the purchase of 351 Newbury Street, the Club's headquarters from 1936 to 1980, Latimer's funds now ensure that the Club will continue its mission in the 21st century.
In recognition of his gift, which has enabled thousands of New Englanders to become proficient in and broaden their appreciation of photography, the Boston Camera Club's print division is named the Latimer Print Group.
Independently wealthy, Latimer was a prime example of the turn-of-the-century serious amateur photographer, for whom money enabled one to travel the world, capture extraordinary photographic moments, and own the best equipment of his day. Like many such experts, Latimer had a measure of success. Known among American pictorialist photographers, Latimer was published in Camera Notes, the forerunner of Camera Work, and was a prolific exhibitor.
Also a member of the New York Camera Club, Latimer participated in many of the joint exhibitions held by the Boston and New York Clubs beginning in 1887. Besides travel photography, one of Latimer's great interests was the photography of yachting.
Most of Latimer's work was in control processes including carbon and multiple gum, in which he was especially proficient. Latimer was also a serious collector of photographic images and equipment, some of which the Club still owns.
Images: Copyright Horace A. Latimer