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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Charles Eisenmann’s Photography Studio

229 Bowery

 
 
Charles Eisenmann’s Photography Studio Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 19, 2016
1. Charles Eisenmann’s Photography Studio Marker
Inscription.  You are standing next to an 1876 Federal-era building that was the home and studio of Charles Eisenmann, the premier photographer of sideshow exotics – called “freaks” – who worked at circuses and Bowery dime museums. A German immigrant, Eisenmann worked here from around 1879 to 1893. Jo Jo the “Russian Dog Face Boy,” J.D. Avery the Living Skeleton, P.T. Barnum himself and even John Harrison Craig – the heaviest man in the world – made the climb to Eisenmann’s 3rd floor studio to get mass quantities of his powerful cabinet card portraits, which were big sellers after their shows.

While modern sensibilities dismiss exhibitions of physical difference as exploitative, paradoxically these performers often commanded the highest salaries, some becoming rich and famous. According to historian Michael Mitchell, their value as attractions gave them a certain “power over their disabilities and their viewers, real financial independence and consequently a kind of dignity.”

Photography studios proliferated on the Bowery during Eisenmann’s day, and in the last 75 years the street
Charles Eisenmann’s Photography Studio Marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, January 1, 2004
2. Charles Eisenmann’s Photography Studio Marker site
229 Bowery (left) and 227 Bowery, The Bowery Mission (right)
has provided home, studio and/or inspiration to scores of photographers such as Robert Frank, Weegee, Jay Maisel, Nan Goldin and Stephanie Chernikowski.

- David Mulkin, Historian/Educator
 
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment.
 
Location. 40° 43.328′ N, 73° 59.587′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Prince Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 229 Bowery, New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 140 Years Of Help And Hope (here, next to this marker); Sidewalks Of New York Premieres On Bowery! (within shouting distance of this marker); Incubator For Art (within shouting distance of this marker); A Bowery Flop (within shouting distance of this marker); Italian Renaissance Palazzo On Bowery (within shouting distance of this marker); 200 Years & Counting (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Longest-Running Catalogue In America (about 300 feet away); “Big Tim” Sullivan’s Clubhouse (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 19, 2016
3. Inset
Eisenmann with giant Captain Butler and wife, 1879
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 19, 2016
4. Inset
Jo-Jo the Dog-face Boy appeared throughout the Bowery dime museum circuit.
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 19, 2016
5. Inset
Other Eisenmann clients.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 2, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 2, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 28, 2020