|Description: We offer an oversize photographic portrait of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley by Barnett Clinedinst. The photograph is 16 ¼” x 13 ¼” on it's original mount that is 19 ⅞” x 16”. Signed in the negative “Copyright Nov 16.97 / Clinedinst. Washng D.C.” and housed in a period gold frame with the outside dimensions of 23 ¾” x 20 3/4”. Item #P00125.
Ida McKinley sits in repose with an exceedingly decorative pillow supporting her head and a wilting rose in her hand...maybe clues to her sickly condition. A small portrait of her husband, the recently elected president, William McKinley, rests on the table next to her. (It was taken by Courtney Studios in 1896.) Mrs. McKinley wore the same dress in a photograph taken for the cover of Ladies Home Journal, published in January of 1898, also by Clinedinst. This was the first time a first lady appeared on the cover of a magazine. Long derided as a nervous and mentally weak woman, Ida McKinley suffered from epilepsy and the inadequate medical treatments, as well as, tremendous personal tragedy including the death of her young daughters, and, later, the murder of her brother and the assassination of her husband.
Barnett M. Clinedinst Sr. (1835 –1900) was an American photographer and inventor. He invented the viewfinder and the mirror-and-prism "reflex" arrangement for which the single-lens reflex camera is named.
Condition:The are some errant marks in the surface of the photograph, some have been filled in delicately with blotted india ink, likely from the original printing. The frame has minor losses to the gold. Overall it is in very good condition.