“This extraordinary collection documents 100 years of history in and around Natchez and contains approximately 20,000 images – including wet and dry collodion glass plate negatives, film negatives, ferrotypes, and historic and modern prints – as well as nearly 100 pieces of photographic equipment, including a Norman Studio portrait camera and an array of late-19th and early-20th century cameras. Also on exhibition are more than 20 hand-tinted photographs by Dr. Gandy, on loan from Joan Gandy of Natchez.
“Brothers Henry and M. J. Gurney established a daguerreotype studio in Natchez in 1851 and began recording the lives of their fellow citizens using the latest in photographic technology. The Civil War brought economic disaster and social upheaval to the region, but Natchez quickly recovered. In 1870, Henry Gurney hired a new employee, Henry Norman, and by 1876 Norman had opened his own studio, buying out Gurney’s studio to do so. Henry Norman became the best-known photographer in the region. When he died in 1913, his son Earl inherited the studio. Earl, like his father, became widely known for his photographic skills and left images spanning nearly 40 years.
“Nearly 10 years after Earl’s death, Natchez physician Thomas H. Gandy discovered the cache of Norman studio negatives and prints held by Earl’s widow and rescued the collection from deterioration. Gandy exhibited the photographs in Great Britain, Canada, and across the United States, and with his wife, Joan, edited and published six books using images from the collection.”
-Excerpted from LSU News February 24, 2005
For more information about the Gandy Collection, contact
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3300