St. Louis: W.C. Maxwell, N.d. (ca 1910-1915). Subject unidentified. Original silver-gelatin photograph, 14cm x 9cm (ca. 5-1/2" x 3-1/2"). Printed as a photo postcard, with no borders. Some faint crackling to lamination at upper right and lower left; Very Good to Near Fine. Embossed with studio mark lower right. Mounted into later gallery mat with clear acetate window.
Attractive early 20th-century portrait of a young African-American woman, seated and formally dressed. Maxwell was an African-American photographer who catered to a primarily African-American clientele. In her memoir At the Elbows of My Elders, author Gail Milissa Grant mentions Maxwell as one of the few prominent businessmen of color active in St. Louis in this period, calling his studio the "premier portrait studio for colored patrons during the first decades of the century." Studio stamp gives address of 607 Lawton Avenue, St. Louis. The web-resource "Early St. Louis Photographers" notes that Maxwell was active at this address from about 1910 to 1915.