H.H. Bennett is viewed as one of the best landscape photographers of the 19th century. While other photographers clung to the relative safety of working within their studios, Bennett developed a passion for landscape photography in the field because, in his words, “It is easier to pose nature and less trouble to please.” He conformed to a common view of that time, which saw nature as a playground to be enjoyed, not feared.
The effort to make a photographic image was far different than from that of today. Bennett and his contemporaries had to manufacture film on the site in a darkroom tent he took with him on all his travels, and then develop the chemical wet plates almost immediately following exposure in the camera.
H.H. Bennett came to know the Dells-area quite well, and was not satisfied to take just any view of an area he wanted to photograph. He took his time and persisted until he got exactly what he wanted. He is known to venture into hard to reach natural areas on occasion. If the light was bad or the angle wrong, he may return several times to the same place until he could get an image just as he envisioned.
As a result of his attention to detail, Bennett’s H.H. Bennett’s photography has been displayed in some of the most prestigious museums in the world and is prized by collectors. Bennett’s synthesis of the artistic aspects of photography, amazing technological innovations which were ahead of many contemporaries of the day, and his marketing and sales techniques were all brought together putting his studio on the forefront of the photographic art.
A perfect mug to remind you of your time at the Wisconsin Dells and the H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum!
Text on front: Kilbourn and the Dells of the Wisconsin: H.H. Bennett Studio
Quote on back: "Went to the Dells...it was terrible, awful, subline, majestic, and grand!" -H.H. Bennett