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Old 11-16-2015, 02:07 AM
syncrolecyne syncrolecyne is offline
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Famous or notable people after 1840 who are not in photographs?

Around 1837, Louis Daguerre developed the Daguerreotype, and around 1839-1840, portrait photography rapidly spread across the developed world. As a consequence, we generally have photographic images of nearly all heads of state/government, significant artists, authors, composers, generals, etc. after this period.

However, I imagine due to a variety or reasons, such as vanity (or a lack thereof), religious or moral objections, a simple lack of desire to sit for a photograph, some prominent person who lived well after the advent of photography has no photograph. Also, if someone only sat for one or two images, there may be no surviving pictures.

Are there any people who have shunned or otherwise avoided photography, yet are notable in some respect?
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:24 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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There are plenty of photographs of the last emperor of China, and at least one of his immediate predecessor (reigned 1875-1908), but as far as I can tell there are no photographs of the three previous emperors:

The Daoguang Emperor (reigned 1820-1850)
The Xianfeng Emperor (1850-1861)
The Tongzhi Emperor (1861-1875)

A couple of famous Native American leaders who were famously never photographed are Cochise (died 1874) and Crazy Horse (died 1877).

Last edited by bibliophage; 11-16-2015 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:40 AM
journeyman_southpaw journeyman_southpaw is offline
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Do people who lived in obscurity their entire lives and only got recognized after they died count for the purposes of this discussion? If so, some artists would likely qualify, I'm thinking of early 20th century jazz and blues musicians in particular, considering that no confirmed photos of Robert Johnson surfaced until the '70s.

Vincent van Gogh is close, but there's one confirmed photo of him as a kid and another of him as a teenager. There are no photos of J. M. W. Turner who was well-known in his lifetime but he died in 1851, not far into the age of photography, so not sure if that counts. Ditto Mary Shelley who also died in 1851.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:23 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:52 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Mary Jane Kelly.

Technically, she's in two (confirmed) photographs, it's just that she and her face aren't...particularly recognizable.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:39 AM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Crazy Horse, probably. There is an alleged photo, but experts dispute its authenticity.

No known photos of Cochise, according to this book.



Also, no undisputed photos of any of the Brontė sisters.
  #7  
Old 11-16-2015, 08:05 AM
MikeS MikeS is offline
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Emperor Ninkō of Japan (1800-1846) does not appear to have ever been photographed. (Or, more accurately: if he was photographed, his photograph is not available online.) However, his successor the Emperor Kōmei does have an extant photograph, as do all his successors.
  #8  
Old 11-16-2015, 08:28 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Almost All the presidents and vice presidents who were around for photography were, apparently, including Andrew Jackson, who died in 1845. The sole exception is Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth Veep, under Martin van Buren. He died in 1840, so maybe he was just a bit too early for photography to be sufficiently widespread, and he wasn;t quite important enough (unlike van Buren, who WAS photographed, although he lived for over twenty years after RMJ's death.)
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:28 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Cecil Adams
I was gong to say Bigfoot.
  #10  
Old 11-16-2015, 08:36 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Interestingly, although we have photographs of the photographic pioneers Louis Daguerre, Henry Fox Talbot, and John Herschel, we don't have any of the originator of the art, Nicephore Niepce (although we have engravings). Arguably, he was just TOO early.
  #11  
Old 11-16-2015, 08:41 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Although she lived until 1850, I don't think we have a photograph of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. A quick search turns up nothing but the portraits I've seen before.
  #12  
Old 11-16-2015, 08:51 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Muhammed Ahmad, the self-proclaimed Mahdi who lead a large contingent of Sudanese against the Turco-Egyptian leaders. He lived from 1844 to 1885. I can understand the lack of photographs -- this was far from Western innovations, which wouldn't have been that important to his people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Ahmad


I wondered if there might be some Islamic prejudice against photographs, since Muslim art traditionally avoids representations, especially of people. I note, however, that the sultan of the Ottoman Empire have, since the beginning of photography, had their photos taken, so that isn't necessarily a prohibition. (Note that, even though many of the images in the link are paintings, photographs of those after 1840 do exist):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...Ottoman_Empire
  #13  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:14 AM
Bayard Bayard is offline
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There are only two photographs thought to show former Taliban leader Mullah Omar. However, the authenticity of even those is debated.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Omar
  #14  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:55 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman_southpaw View Post
Do people who lived in obscurity their entire lives and only got recognized after they died count for the purposes of this discussion? If so, some artists would likely qualify, I'm thinking of early 20th century jazz and blues musicians in particular, considering that no confirmed photos of Robert Johnson surfaced until the '70s.

Vincent van Gogh is close, but there's one confirmed photo of him as a kid and another of him as a teenager. There are no photos of J. M. W. Turner who was well-known in his lifetime but he died in 1851, not far into the age of photography, so not sure if that counts. Ditto Mary Shelley who also died in 1851.
Of possible interest: http://www.neatorama.com/2006/08/26/...ring-van-gogh/
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:01 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:15 PM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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I would have been inclined to say Thomas Pynchon, who's still alive, but it seems that some very few photographs of him have indeed been published.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:23 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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On a related note, Isadora Duncan died in 1927, and yet there are no known moving images of her.
  #18  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:41 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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On a related note, Isadora Duncan died in 1927, and yet there are no known moving images of her.
Here's one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaFZbhbcft0
  #19  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:49 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Nijinsky was never filmed, either.
  #20  
Old 11-17-2015, 07:52 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Geechie Wiley, a blues singer from the 1930s, made kind of a big impact in recent years. Her most famous song, "The Last Kind Words Blues," was featured in the movie Crumb and a big article about her appeared in the New York Times a couple of years ago. She made three single records in her career and sang in nightclubs up through the 1950s. The people who know about her really, REALLY know about her. No known photos.

Part of her legend is that she was wholly unknown outside of a small group of black music fans. Robert Crumb, as a teenager, began his lifelong fascination with jazz and blues 78s and would walk through black neighborhoods in Philadelphia in the late 50s-early 60s, knocking on doors, offering 25 cents apiece for any old records the residents might want to part with. He scored some amazing rarities, including "Last Kind Words Blues," and any fame it has today is the result of copies from the 78 he bought in this manner 50+ years ago.

A couple of other musicians, like the Residents and Question Mark from "? and the Mysterians" are pretty coy about their actual identities and have no known photos.

Last edited by Horatio Hellpop; 11-17-2015 at 07:52 PM.
  #21  
Old 11-18-2015, 07:09 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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When and where was this discovered?
  #22  
Old 11-18-2015, 07:12 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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A couple of other musicians, like the Residents and Question Mark from "? and the Mysterians" are pretty coy about their actual identities and have no known photos.
KISS were that way in the late 1970s too. This led to all kinds of rumors; the most ludicrous was that they were women, and Paul Stanley's costume negated that! A more reasonable one was that they were black, which would have been an issue at the time WRT the kind of music they played.

Had Paul been black, he would had to have been very light skinned.
  #23  
Old 11-18-2015, 07:46 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) is remarkably camera-shy; there are only a few photos of him out on the web.
  #24  
Old 11-18-2015, 11:37 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Interestingly, although we have photographs of the photographic pioneers Louis Daguerre, Henry Fox Talbot, and John Herschel, we don't have any of the originator of the art, Nicephore Niepce (although we have engravings). Arguably, he was just TOO early.
It was the brief period between the invention of the photograph and the invention of the selfie.
  #25  
Old 11-18-2015, 11:41 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Geechie Wiley, a blues singer from the 1930s, made kind of a big impact in recent years. Her most famous song, "The Last Kind Words Blues," was featured in the movie Crumb and a big article about her appeared in the New York Times a couple of years ago. She made three single records in her career and sang in nightclubs up through the 1950s. The people who know about her really, REALLY know about her. No known photos.
Robert Johnson is one of the most famous figures in the blues genre. And he lived until 1938, when photography was relatively common. But there are only two photographs of him. (There was a recent claim that a third photograph had been found, but it's apparently now been disproven.)
  #26  
Old 11-19-2015, 01:19 AM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Harry Winston--a jeweler who once owned the Hope Diamond.
The Imam Yahia, head of state of Yemen in the late 1940s, was never photographed--he forbade it under pain of drastic punishment. On the day that a likeness of him appeared in a Ripley column in 1948, he was reported to have been assassinated.
  #27  
Old 11-19-2015, 06:32 AM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
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There's no known photograph of Willie Brown, a friend and associate of Robert Johnson's (he's mentioned in one take of Johnson's "Cross Road Blues", aka "Crossroads") and an influential bluesman in his own right.

Early Delta blues singers sort of existed in a different, time-shifted era: poverty and Jim Crow made it much less likely that they'd have access to technologies like photography than their mainstream, urban counterparts (let alone white stars) of the same era. Charlie Patton was possibly the most famous Delta blues singer, and there exists one known photo of him.
  #28  
Old 11-19-2015, 08:11 AM
D18 D18 is offline
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It was the brief period between the invention of the photograph and the invention of the selfie.
I'm afraid there was no such period, alas!

Last edited by D18; 11-19-2015 at 08:11 AM.
  #29  
Old 11-19-2015, 08:23 AM
Fuzzy_wuzzy Fuzzy_wuzzy is offline
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On a related note, Isadora Duncan died in 1927, and yet there are no known moving images of her.
I was about to make a similar point about George Orwell. Despite working for the BBC there are no moving images, or voice recordings of Orwell.
  #30  
Old 11-19-2015, 09:11 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Actually, there is footage of Orwell (or at least of Eric Blair, since he hadn't written anything yet).
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A couple of other musicians, like the Residents and Question Mark from "? and the Mysterians" are pretty coy about their actual identities and have no known photos.
New-ish heavy metal band Ghost has six members, and all of their names and faces are a secret. The singer wears King Diamond-esque makeup and is known only as Papa Emeritus, and the rest wear masks and are referred to as "Nameless Ghouls."

I'm not sure any of those people count, though; their record labels obviously know who they are and there are bound to be pictures of them somewhere.
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KISS were that way in the late 1970s too. This led to all kinds of rumors; the most ludicrous was that they were women, and Paul Stanley's costume negated that! A more reasonable one was that they were black, which would have been an issue at the time WRT the kind of music they played.
I don't think it would have been that big a deal. There were a number of non-secret black hard rock musicians around at the time, or before; Hendrix (and Billy Cox) and Phil Lynott spring to mind.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 11-19-2015 at 09:12 AM.
  #31  
Old 11-19-2015, 09:55 AM
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Nick Drake (d 1974) was a not-unknown musician during his life - 3 albums released on a major label, even if they didn't sell well - and there is no film footage of him as an adult, only still photographs. There's also no authenticated live recordings or photos of his performances.
  #32  
Old 11-19-2015, 01:52 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
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I think a distinction should be made between famous people of which there were no photographs and those that actively avoid photographs (like Watterson)
  #33  
Old 11-19-2015, 01:54 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Why? The OP specifically referenced both.
  #34  
Old 11-19-2015, 02:19 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I don't think it would have been that big a deal. There were a number of non-secret black hard rock musicians around at the time, or before; Hendrix (and Billy Cox) and Phil Lynott spring to mind.
Not if there was a single non-white member. But all of them? It could have been a big deal.

A decade later, along came Living Colour, a black hard-rock quartet, and nobody batted an eye at that (until the inferior knockoffs, the best known being 24/7 Spyz, came along).

Check out the excellent documentary "A Band Called Death" for some insight into race and music in the mid- and late 1970s.
  #35  
Old 11-19-2015, 02:28 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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I was about to make a similar point about George Orwell. Despite working for the BBC there are no moving images, or voice recordings of Orwell.
So what? Isadora Duncan and Nijinsky were famous dancers. Their fame is baseupon movement. Technology existed to capture said movement, but wasn't used. (Or at least only a few seconds.) Not recording them is something of a loss to history.

Orwell fame is not based on moving, or for his voice. It's no huge loss that they weren't recorded.
  #36  
Old 11-19-2015, 03:06 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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If we're talking voice recordings, one surprising example is Adolf Hitler. There are obviously hours of recordings of him giving public speeches. But he deliberately used a "public" voice in his speeches. There's only one recording of his voice speaking in the conversational tones he used normally.
  #37  
Old 11-19-2015, 03:08 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Orwell fame is not based on moving, or for his voice. It's no huge loss that they weren't recorded.
Not sure I agree with that. A huge part of an author's life is live readings of excerpts from their books, even if those are generally not attended by a large fraction of those who read the books.
  #38  
Old 11-21-2015, 02:48 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I would have been inclined to say Thomas Pynchon, who's still alive, but it seems that some very few photographs of him have indeed been published.
Can't say "Pynchon" without "J D Salinger."
  #39  
Old 11-21-2015, 03:31 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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Perhaps he was very infrequently photographed in the first place.
  #40  
Old 11-21-2015, 06:32 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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There hasn't been a new photograph of Steve Ditko (Spider-Man co-creator) in almost 50 years. He's become something of a cult figure.
  #41  
Old 11-22-2015, 05:06 AM
Fuzzy_wuzzy Fuzzy_wuzzy is offline
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So what? Isadora Duncan and Nijinsky were famous dancers. Their fame is baseupon movement. Technology existed to capture said movement, but wasn't used. (Or at least only a few seconds.) Not recording them is something of a loss to history.

Orwell fame is not based on moving, or for his voice. It's no huge loss that they weren't recorded.
I pointed out this lack of film & voice recording of Orwell purely as a curiosity. Though it now looks as if a small film record of him has been found recently. Still, as someone who worked for the BBC it's an interesting factoid that his famously strained voice has not been recorded.
  #42  
Old 11-22-2015, 09:41 AM
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Howard Hughes was almost never photographed, after about 1948.
  #43  
Old 11-22-2015, 11:24 AM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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I bet the guy who played The Invisible Man in the British TV series has never been photographed.
  #44  
Old 11-22-2015, 08:37 PM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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Most women of Saudi Arabia, full-face that is.
  #45  
Old 11-22-2015, 08:54 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Most women of Saudi Arabia, full-face that is.
Which of them were famous or notable?
  #46  
Old 11-22-2015, 09:22 PM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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Royalty and aristocracy? The only one I've seen full-faced in pictures is Mai Yamani.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:57 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) is remarkably camera-shy; there are only a few photos of him out on the web.
The same might be said of The Far Side's Gary Larson. I know of only a couple photographic portraits, plus a 1986 interview on 20/20.
  #48  
Old 10-17-2016, 09:37 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is online now
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German-American author B. Traven. There are one or two photos of the person he is thought to be, but none of a person who professed to be Traven.
  #49  
Old 10-17-2016, 11:21 AM
xnylder xnylder is offline
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Harry Winston--a jeweler who once owned the Hope Diamond.
I realized this thread's been resurrected, but right now there's a photo of Harry Winston right on his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Winston
  #50  
Old 10-17-2016, 11:44 AM
Channing Idaho Banks Channing Idaho Banks is offline
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Has anyone ever seen a picture of Buckethead?
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