Lot 268

Benjamin Gifford (1859-1936) Mount Hood c. 1899

Estimate: $5,000 - $6,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
For your consideration in this lot is a 1899 original photograph of "Sunrise On Mount Hood From Lost Lake" by Benjamin Gifford. Benjamin Gifford (1859-1936) is considered to be one of Oregon’s most influential photographers. After completing an apprenticeship at a photo gallery in Kansas, Gifford moved to Portland in 1890 to open his own photography studio that stayed in the family until 1955. This image was taken in 1899 and is considered to be his most famous photograph and one of the earliest and most iconic views of Mt. Hood. Gifford claimed he was offered $1000 (in the early 1900’s!) for the glass plate negative. The whereabouts of the negative is unknown and it is presumed lost or irreversibly damaged. This photograph is copyrighted with Gifford’s mark in the lower left corner that reads "Copyright 1899 Benj .A. Glifford The Dells Or." and titled, "Sunrise On Mount Hood From Lost Lake". It is in an original tiger wood frame. Overall this is a phenomenal example of one of Oregon’s most iconic photographic images by the Grandfather of Oregon Photography. This sold at " Aurora Mills: Antiques, Vintage, Salvage" for over $6000. The photograph and frame shows age and wear to be expected with it's over 120 year age. The frame measures 30 1/2" x 20" The Benjamin A. Gifford Photographs consist of photographs made by Gifford during his career as a photographer in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon. The images depict Native Americans, primarily of the Columbia Plateau region; the Columbia River and the Historic Columbia River Highway; Central and Eastern Oregon; Gifford Family members; and many unidentified individuals and groups. Gifford arrived in Oregon and worked first in Portland until 1895, when he opened a studio in The Dalles. He returned to Portland in 1910. Benjamin A. Gifford (1859-1936) was born in DuPage County, Illinois. After briefly attending Kansas Normal College, Benjamin worked for two years as an apprentice in a Ft. Scott, Kansas, photo gallery. He finished his apprenticeship in Sedalia, Missouri, under William LaTour, and then returned to Fort Scott to become a partner in a photo studio. Benjamin married Myrtle Peck in 1884; he and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1888 and by 1891 had started a photo studio across the street from the Hotel Portland. He was the first photographer in Portland to use electric lights for making enlargements. About 1895 Benjamin moved to The Dalles and operated a studio there for several years, though he maintained strong ties to the Portland area. Gifford returned to Portland in 1910. His son Ralph I. Gifford took over operation of the studio around 1920. After his first wife died in 1919, Benjamin married Rachel Morgan, who had worked in his photography studio for several years. They moved to Clark County, Washington, soon after turning over the photography business to Ralph and settled in a home they called "Wa-ne-Ka," named after his famous photograph, "Sunset on the Columbia." Benjamin died on March 5, 1936. Benjamin was well-known for his images of Native Americans, scenic views of the Columbia River and the Columbia River Highway, and views of central Oregon and Portland areas. He published Art Work of Oregon (1900), Art Work of the State of Oregon (1909), Art Work of Portland, Mt. Hood and the Columbia River (1912), and a view book titled Snap Shots on the Columbia (1902). In addition his work appeared in many promotional booklets issued by railroads, particularly the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company.