Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Hampton Album



ISBN: 9781633450813 Category:

Sarah Hermanson Meister


Comprised of 159 extraordinary platinum plates, Frances Benjamin Johnston’s Hampton Album documents life at the Hampton Institute marking a pivotal moment in this historically black university’s history .

Frances Benjamin Johnston (American, 1864-1952), one of the first women in America to work as a professional photographer, was commissioned in 1899 to photograph the Hampton Institute, then a thirty year old institution dedicated to the practical and academic education of freed slaves and Native Americans. What became known as the Hampton Album – comprised of 159 platinum plates exhibited in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris – is Johnston’s signature work, and has become a touchstone for contemporary historians and artists. The leather-bound album was discovered serendipitously by Lincoln Kirstein in a Washington, D.C. bookstore during World War II and donated to MoMA in 1965.

Additional information

Weight 1300 g
Dimensions 23.6 x 39.5 cm
Publisher name The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date 15 December 2020
Number of pages 192
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Sarah Hermanson Meister, Contributions by LaToya Ruby Frazier
Dimensions 23.6 x 39.5 cm
Weight 1300 g


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Sarah Hermanson Meister is a Curator in the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Frances Benjamin Johnston (American, 1864–1952) achieved acclaim as a photo journalist and studio photographer based in Washington, D.C., and is recognized as a pioneer for women in photography. LaToya Ruby Frazier is currently an Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is represented by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York.