by Thomas Yanul, copyright
The resultant images were both fancifull and/or artistic versions of living people - many well known photographers - as modern representatives of classic images in the style of famous painters such as Rembrant, Holbein, Raphael and others. The more one learns about Strauss the more one feels that they are an artistic statement by a noted portrait photographer while at the same time being a gregarious outpouring of sheer cartoonism, but with the added dimensions of serious scholarship and lots of difficult photographic manipulation.
There seems to be no doubt that Strauss reveled in the responce to these unusual images not only from the publication audience, but also what must have been a very personal feedback from those friends that were featured as historical icons from the past. It must have been sheer delight on his part as another cohort became a classically robed figure whose unmistakable features now found them in a few centuries early tableau.
The 1911 article mentioned that Strauss had been making these "Masters" for many years, and fortunately for us, a 1904 Issue of Photo-Era Magazine published several of these images. The 1911 article states that the Sunday edition of the New York Herald carried a page of these images...unfortunately that page seems not to even have been microfilmed, and extant copies of that July 23rd edition seem not to have survived. One other print, an original, seems to be in the Strauss archives of the Missouri Historical Society that I saw in 2002.
So for now I will post the images that were included in the 1904 Photo-Era magazine with hopes that some originals will turn up to allow for a much better illustration since the magazines images are not especially high quality depictions.
HENRY HAVELOCK PIERCE - NEWPORT
A PORTRAIT BY FRANZ HALLS - VIENNA GALLERY"
1857 - 1924)
"AFTER A PAINTING BY ALBRECHT DURER, PRADO MUSEUM, MADRID"
(Strauss 1857 - 1924)
MISS R AS LADY ANN BINGHAM
"AFTER PAINTING BY SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS"
THIS VERY WELL MIGHT BE MISS REITH WHO IN 1915 WAS DESCRIBED AS "HAVING BEEN IN CHARGE OF THE STRAUSS STUDIO RECEPTION ROOM FOR MANY YEARS"
"AFTER PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF BY ANDREA DEL SARTO
UFFIZI GALLERY FLORENCE"
ORIGINAL PAINTING IS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART ITS PROPER TITLE
OF A MEMBER OF THE WEDIGH FAMILY" - 1532
"AFTER PAINTING - THE MERCHANT BY HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER"
THE LATIN INDICATES IT WAS MADE IN 1904 AND PIRIE IS 37 YEARS OLD
THE ORIGINAL PAINTING IS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART ITS PROPER TITLE IS
"PORTRAIT OF A MEMBER OF THE WEDIGH FAMILY" - 1532