Collections at the Chapman Historical Museum
Seneca Ray Stoddard Collection
Seneca Ray Stoddard (1843-1917) is best known for his photographs of the Adirondack Mountains, but he also was a cartographer, writer, poet, artist, traveler and lecturer. A sign painter by training, he turned to photography in his twenties. From his business base in Glens Falls he carried his cameras throughout the region, capturing the vistas and scenes of Adirondack life over a span of forty years. The 3000+ photographs in the Chapman Stoddard Collection document not only the Adirondack wilderness but also the human story of the region.
Seneca Ray Stoddard, ca. 1880
Avalanche Lake from the North
Stoddard applied his artistic inclinations and early training as a sign painter to other pursuits as well. He drew illustrations, painted oil landscapes and hand colored many of his photographs. Stoddard also was a passionate writer about his travels. In 1872 he began production of a yearly publication, Adirondacks Illustrated, which he revised and reprinted numerous times. The book, which incorporated Stoddard's drawings and photographs, served as a guide to the Adirondack region, providing advice for novice wilderness travelers and directing vacationers to the best summer destinations. His tongue-in-cheek perceptions of Adirondack travel and his Mark Twain-style of humor made his guidebooks among the most popular sources of the day.
The Chapman displays selections from its collection of several thousand Stoddard images on a rotating basis. For a sampling of Stoddard images, click here.
To purchase a custom-printed reproduction of any Stoddard photo included in these pages click here.