About the Photography

Who took the photographs?

Without clear documentation, we have credited both Emily & James Sibley Watson for the surviving photographs of their 1891 wedding trip to Morocco & Spain, and their 1892-1893 trip along the Nile River. Images that depict Emily Sibley Watson have been credited to James Sibley Watson, and vice versa, although in each case, it's possible that another member of their party might have been the photographer.

Camping in Morocco

Emily Sibley Watson's 1910 talk on the Morocco trip has provided likely dates for some of the photographs.

Traveling in Spain

Captions in Emily Sibley Watson's handwriting identify and date the photographs of the Spanish part of their wedding trip.

Along the Nile

Some of the Egypt photos were developed by James Sibley Watson during the trip, while others were developed commercially in Rochester when the travellers returned home. Emily Sibley Watson wrote her mother on 2/27/1893, saying: "Jimmie bought a camera in Cairo as we were afraid the Kodak film might not come out well, and he has developed the pictures which are very successful so we shall have some beautiful photographs to show you when we return." Evidence from George Eastman Museum suggests that other negatives were commercially developed. A note among the negatives in the Eastman Museum collection reads: "563 Egyptian negatives developed only Hovey Bros. City Jas. S. Watson 11 Prince May 12, 1893." 

Commercial Photographs

In addition to photographs taken by members of the Sibley Watson parties, the Watsons purchased commercial photographs, which are housed in albums in George Eastman Museum. These albums contain images from Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria (a later trip) by prominent 19th-century photographers who worked in these countries. The photographers or photographic firms represented include:

  • Egypt: Hippolyte Arnoux; G. Lekegian; Jean-Pascal Sebah; Adelphoi Zangaki
  • Morocco: Rudolf Franz Lehnert; Valentine & Co.
  • Spain: Camino Fotografo; Emilio Beauchy; J. Laurent y Cia