Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

Corcoran Gallery of Art's Eastman Kodak Photographs of Asia

Collection ID:
Corcoran Gallery of Art
1911-1928, unknown
Physical Description:
0.16 Cubic feet
Flat box
Drop front, tan
15 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of eight black and white photographic copy prints, made by Palm Press in 1987, depicting people and scenes throughout Asia, by photographers including Joseph Rock, Tamotsu Enami, Frederick Wulsin, Frederick Simpich, Wiele and Klein, and R. Senz and Company. The prints were originally a gift of the Eastman Kodak Company to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1990, with the images themselves from the collections of the National Geographic Society. The images previously featured in the exhibition "Odyssey: The Art of Photography at National Geographic" from June 4 through August 28, 1988, to commemorate the National Geographic Society's centennial, and traveled in three exhibitions through 1991. They also appeared in the catalog
Odyssey: The Art of Photograph at National Geographic
by Jane Livingston with Frances Fralin and Declan Haun in 1988.
Following the dissolution of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the prints transferred to the collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

Arranged alphabetically by photographer or firm name, thereunder chronologically.

Enami, Tomatsu
Enami, Tomatsu
Tomatsu Enami, who lived and worked during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was a photographer who owned and operated a studio in Yokohama during the 1920s and '30s. He had a family background in photography; his father was assistant to Kazumasa Ogawa, a pioneering Japanese photographer. He experimented with glass-plate film, stereoscopic views, and colored lantern slides, many of which depicted Japanese scenery of the Meiji Era.
Enami's work was popular, with his photographs displayed in American photo salons and appearing in publications, such as Japan Photography Yearbook and Asahi Photographic Annual, in the early 1930s. His studio was severely damaged in the bombings of Yokohama during World War II. Following the war, he continued working use glass-plate techniques due to a unavailability of other materials.

R. Senz & Company
R. Senz & Company
R. Senz and Company was a photographic business located in Bangkok. The history of the company is unknown.

Rock, Joseph
Rock, Joseph
Joseph Francis Charles Rock (1884-1962), or Joseph Rock, was a botanist, photographer, explorer, and linguist. He primarily studied plant species in Hawaii and China, both places of residence during his lifetime. Although Rock faced illness throughout his life and was never formally educated, he dedicated his life to substantial exploration and research, and documented his travels through photographs.
Rock was born in Vienna, Austria in 1884 and immigrated to the United States in 1905, residing in Hawaii from 1907-1920. During his time in Hawaii, he taught botany at the University of Hawaii and published numerous books and articles concerning the flora of the state. In 1920, he began his exploration of China under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would end up lasting 27 years. While in China, Rock extensively explored Tibet worked for institutions like Harvard University and National Geographic. On a 1924 Tibetan expedition encouraged by Charles S. Sargent, the first director of the Arnold Arboretum, Rock collected 20,000 herbarium specimens. While traveling Rock engaged with local cultures and languages, especially that of the Naxi people. Rock's travels are documented through his personal photographs—images that Rock believed to be important visual evidence of his research. In 1949, due to the political situation in China, he returned to Hawaii, where he passed away in 1962.

Simpich, Frederick
Simpich, Frederick
Frederick Simpich (1878-1950) was a writer, photographer, and traveler. In his early career, in the 1880s and 90s, Simpich was a news reporter in Shanghai, Manila, and San Francisco. After his newspaper endeavors, Simpich was employed by the United States Department of State, most notably serving as consul general in Guatemala in 1920. Later he joined National Geographic, where he worked for 22 years, including as assistant editor from 1931-1949. During his time with National Geographic, he collected and published detailed information on cities, states, countries, and other locations.

Wiele & Klein
Wiele & Klein
Wiele and Klein, or Klein and Peryerl (also spelled Preyerl) post-1930, was a photography business based in Madras, India in the first half of the 20th century. The company was founded by Hermann Wiele and Theodor Klein, who were originally from Germany. Wiele and Klein had a central location in Madras and a second studio in Bangalore, which likely catered to British military residents in the area.
Wiele and Klein engaged with a variety of photographic genres, including the manufacturing of postcards, which there was a large market for at the time. They experimented with stereoscopic views that they sold throughout South India. The company was based in India and employed some Indian photographers, but the majority of its business focused on Europeans who were living or traveling in India.

Wulsin, Frederick R.
Wulsin, Frederick R.
Frederick R. Wulsin (1891-1961) was an American anthropologist who traveled in Africa and China during the 20th century. After graduating from Harvard, Wulsin embarked on an expedition to Africa in 1913, where he collected specimens and performed research for Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. In 1923, Wulsin received funding from National Geographic to travel throughout northwestern China and Mongolia collecting plant and animal specimens. When Wulsin returned to the United States, he received a doctorate in anthropology and taught at Tufts University and Boston University. With the onset of World War II, Wulsin was recruited to study the human body and its ability to survive in harsh weather conditions by the Quartermaster General's Office.
During his time in China, he documented China's people and landscape, through note taking, collection of specimens, and photography. Wulsin gathered thousands of plant and animal specimens and took 2,000 photos, mostly on his favorite camera, a 4" x 5" Graflex. Some of his most well-known photographs were taken in Wangyefu, Mongolia.

Ryan Murray and Grace Levine
Custodial History
The Corcoran Gallery of Art was one of the first private museums in the United States established in 1869 by William Wilson Corcoran and expanded in 1880 to include the Corcoran College of Art and Design with the mission 'dedicated to art and used solely for the purpose of encouraging the American genius.' In 2014, the Corcoran transferred the college to George Washington University and distributed the works from its Collection to museums and institutions in Washington, DC.
Processing Information
Processed by Ryan Murray, 2020.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Corcoran Gallery of Art's Eastman Kodak Photographs of Asia, FSA.A2018.08. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

More Information
Livingston, Jane with Frances Fralin and Declan Haun.
Odyssey: The Art of Photography at National Geographic
. Charlottesville, VA and Washington: Thomasson-Grant and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1988.

Repository Contact
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
National Museum of Asian Art Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013