Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Baker Art Gallery




Baker’s Art Gallery, 106 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio, was founded by Lorenzo Marvin Baker, born in 1834 in Copenhagen, New York. He was active in Columbus from 1860 until 1897.

Lorenzo came to Columbus in 1854 to clerk at the Neil House Hotel, he was also an officer at the Ohio Penitentiary. He went into the photo business in 1862 and established a gallery, one of the finest rooms in Ohio. They were awarded the gold medal for the best examples of photographs at the Semi-centennial in Boston and the World’s Fair at Chicago.

He employed two of his sons, Lorenzo and Duane Baker, as well as John Samuel Schneider, in the best known portrait studio in the state capital until well into the twentieth century. Lorenzo Baker won prizes at the Ohio State Fair beginning in 1874 for photographs, both plain and finished in watercolor and ink.

Lorenzo M. Baker lived until Febrary, 1924. Duane Baker, educated at the Ohio State University, took over the firm’s business affairs early in the twentieth century and was an active photographer in Columbus until his death in 1934. The third partner in the business was John Samuel Schneider, active in photography from 1880 until 1912.

What I really find fascinating about Baker's Art Gallery are some of the famous names and otherwise interesting folks that walked through their door to have portraits done: Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, actor-entertainer Al G. Field, sharp-shooter Annie Oakley and 1892 Columbus Baseball Club, among many actors, actresses, government officials and persons of the times.

The Baker Art Gallery existed in Columbus until the 1950s.

Arnett Howard

2 comments:

  1. It seems they later had an office at 232 S High. The Library of Congress has pictures taken from the "Historic American Buildings Survey". They can be seen at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/oh0018/

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  2. My mother inherited a reverse glass photograph that I believe, from the faint wording on the photo, to have come from the Baker Art Gallery. Do you know of any way to find out more information?

    Thanks!

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