Dr. Elizabeth Kenneday, who lives in the Sierra Nevada region of California and now serves as Photographic Specialist and Assistant Curator to the Repository, has been creating photographs from found glass-plate negatives that she discovered several years ago. Attached is an excerpt from the original correspondence that she sent to us in 2010—with images below (the significance of her find to The Repository archives cannot be overstated):
I have fantastic news for The Repository! I have found what appears to be a cache of glass negatives of Dr. Mycenae Consonant taken during her travels in the Sierra Nevada where she evidently met John Muir, Albert Bierstadt, and later, Anne Brigman. The negatives were in a small crate marked “M. C., Sierra Nevada” in a combined thrift store/library sale here in June Lake for the Fourth of July weekend.
There are markings on the glass indicating that it is she in the photographs in a variety of circumstances and places. I am still trying to make out the dates as the markings are somewhat smudged and the handwriting is difficult to decipher.
I can identify most of the places she is in and am undertaking the digitizing of the negatives. I am captivated by the imagery! In addition to cleaning them up as much as possible, I have added tinting that replicates the colors of this area. I’ve completed two thus far. In the first image, Mycenae appears to be primping in her compact mirror either before leaving on a pack trip into the high country or upon returning. In the second, she seems to be examining the brine flies along the shoreline of Mono Lake. Note the flatter tufa along the shore with taller ones in the background, and Negit Island behind her on the left. I am sure you will be as stunned and as thrilled as I am at this discovery!
Elizabeth Kenneday, PhD