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Lyd Sawyer, Photographer

Lyddell "Lyd" Sawyer was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England in 1856. He once remarked that he was born to be a photographer because his painter father had been one of its earliest practitioners. The young Sawyer received his professional education as an apprentice in his father's portrait studio. He also studied optics and chemistry, and passed the examination of the City of London Guild in 1885, the same year he left his father's studio. For a few years, he was an itinerant photographer, living and working in London and Paris. After receiving a medal at a Derby exhibition in 1887, he began building his own Singleton House studio in his hometown of Newcastle.

Within a few years, Mr. Sawyer had established a reputation as one of the Victorian era's most gifted art photographers. His artistic inner circle included fellow photographers Henry Peach Robinson and Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. By 1893, Mr. Sawyer had opened a second studio in Sunderland, and at this time enlisted the assistance of his two capable brothers Henri and Rubens Sawyer. With his brothers and the assistants he had trained personally, Mr. Sawyer's studios flourished. Using the pseudonym of 'Sheriff,' he joined the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring in November 1895. Despite his dedication to promoting photography as an art form, Mr. Sawyer steadfastly maintained he only regarded this as “a means to an end,” which was operating the most commercially and critically successful studio in London's art district.

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2014-01-26 16:06:30
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