family group - the wife, six sons and three of the four daughters
of Edmund Stanley Lauder (c 1828-1891) photographer and proprietor
of Lauder Brothers, Dublin. (Photograph from private collection.)
The sitters are identified below the photograph, listed according
to their last known names.
James Stack Lauder (1853 – 1923) was born on 22 January
1853. He was the eldest son in a family of six sons and four
daughters of photographer Edmund Stack Lauder (1824 –
1891) and his wife Sarah Stack (1828 – 1913). He was baptised
on 18 March 1853 at St George’s parish church, Hardwicke
Place, Dublin. James served his apprenticeship at this father’s
daguerrotype portrait studio in Dublin in the 1860s.
Lauder studied painting in Paris and worked in a photographic
studio in Berlin. In 1880, he opened his own studio in Dublin
that became established as the firm Lafayette. In 1884 he entered
the Photographic Society of Great Britain’s annual show
and was awarded a medal for his first entry, he was also elected
a member. In the spring of 1885 Alexandra, the Princess of Wales
was photographed at his studio after receiving an honorary degree
while visiting Ireland. The image of the princess photographed
in this scholarly pose was incredibly popular and over 60,000
prints were sold. In 1887, Lauder was summoned to photograph
Queen Victoria in her Golden Jubilee year and became the first
Irish photographer to be granted the royal warrant. In the same
year he married Annie, the daughter of artist, Felix Pierre
Dinnette. Annie and James had three sons and four daughters.
Lauder won many medals at exhibitions, including the 1889 Paris
Exposition Universelle. At an exhibition in Chicago in 1893
Lauder showed a large-scale study of a floating angel, which
was noted by HW Vogel professor of photography and critic as
the ‘grandest exhibit in the English division’.
Years later Lauder explained how he created this image, the
model was not suspended by wires but was positioned horizontally
on a sheet of glass with the perspective background beneath
and photographed from above. In the 1890s the Lafayette firm
expanded with new branch studios in Glasgow, Manchester, Belfast
and London and in 1898 became a publicly quoted company. At
the same time developments were occurring in the half-tone printing
process which resulted in the increase of illustrated weekly
magazines. Lauder was one of the first photographers who recognised
the opportunities offered by syndicating photographs and his
studies and portraits of distinguished men and women from society
and the stage appeared in a series of newly launched magazines.
1897 Lauder moved to London. He was commissioned by the Duchess
of Devonshire to record the guests at her Diamond Jubilee costume
ball and remained very much in demand with Society and its followers
until the turn of the century. At this time younger competitors
started to take commissions from the fashionable market while
Lauder’s style of photography remained in the Victorian
style. In Ireland the Lafayette studio was still going strong
and its promotional photography for the motorcycle and motorcar
explored new ways of looking at landscape.
is credited with creating thousands of images but only 649 photographs
registered for copyright bear the signature of James Lauder
work has featured in exhibitions at the Queen’s Gallery,
London (1987), the Guinness Museum, Dublin (1989) and the National
Portrait Gallery, London (1998).
20 August 1923, James Lauder died at the Hospital St Jean, Bruges.