Cones, Nancy Ford (1869–1962)

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Cones, Nancy Ford (1869–1962)

American photographer. Born Nancy Ford in Milan, Ohio, in 1869; died in 1962; married James Cones (a photographer), in 1897 (died 1939); children: Margaret Cones.

In 1905, Eastman Kodak received 28,000 entries for their photographic competition; first prize went to a young photographer named Edward Steichen. Taking second above another hopeful, Alfred Stieglitz who took third, was a farmwife from Loveland, Ohio, named Nancy Ford Cones. After becoming interested in photography in her 20s, she had married James Cones, a fellow photographer, and moved to a 25-acre farm in Loveland. There they worked together, with James printing negatives, until his death in 1939. While she also photographed celebrated figures such as William Howard Taft, most of Cone's work celebrated the life of the farm. Her rural scenes were utilized in advertising campaigns for Eastman Kodak and Bausch and Lomb; they also appeared in Country Life in America and Woman's Home Companion. Fifteen years after her death, a Cincinnati art dealer discovered and purchased her legacy of 4,000 prints and 15,000 glass-plate negatives. "The

name of Nancy Ford Cones is not now commonly known even to the most ardent devotees of photography," wrote an American Heritage contributor, "an obscurity thoroughly undeserved…. At once precise and soft with summer light, they recall the steady toil and small pleasures of farm life three-quarters of a century ago."


"Loveland Summer," in American Heritage. August 9, 1981.


Walt Burton Galleries, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Cones, Nancy Ford (1869–1962)

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