1885 Photographs

A unique Discovery

Campbell House Photographs

One of the most unique and important facets to the story of the Campbell family and their house is told through an album of 60 large-format photographs. These photos date from about 1885 and show not only the House interior, room by room, but also the exterior and the surrounding Lucas Place neighborhood.

The album was discovered in the trash of the offices of Kirby and Orrick, a law firm that handled the Campbell estate. In 1973 it was donated to the Museum by John Albury Bryan, a noted architectural historian and an important early advisor to the Museum.

Robert Campbell’s son Hugh, who was known to be an amateur photographer, may have taken the photos. Alternatively, they may have been taken by St. Louis photographer John A. Scholten, a favorite of the Campbell family. Their purpose is unclear. It is possible the photos were taken for insurance purposes, maybe they were only meant to be sentimental or perhaps they were just a practice of his hobby.

This album of photographs is one of the most significant artifacts in the Museum’s collection and was the most important piece of documentation supporting the accurate historic restoration of the Museum’s exteriors and interiors.

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