Jules Lion was a free black photographer from France that entered New Orleans around the late 1830’s. Although he started as a lithographer, he introduced a special type of portrait that was new to the United States called Daguerrean photography. This was the first type of photography in the country before more advanced exposures were created. Because this was a new picture-taking process from overseas, some believe Lion’s work gave birth to photography in the United States, especially among blacks. He was one of the first blacks to be known as a Daguerrean photographer, which spread to other budding black photographers quickly (like James Presley Ball) and throughout the country.
Lion’s story in New Orleans began in the late 1830’s as a lithographer, but around 1837, he was driven back to France for a year with the declining economy to sharpen his photography skills under the method of Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre – the originator of the Daguerrean method.
He returned to New Orleans and photographed the majestic views of the city. After proving his level of work by photographing landmarks in New Orleans, the prize-winning photographer was in demand by notables such as President Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren for his work. The New Orleans Bee, a local bilingual newspaper, hired Lion to take pictures for the publication. Both he and his brother (who were of mixed heritage) found success in Louisiana. His brother, Achille, was a dentist and both used their money to invest in real estate and retail goods.
Lion’s work could be found in the prestigious St. Charles Museum. His success was inevitable in the city of New Orleans, but as the cost of equipment increased from growing competition, Lion extended his search of prominent subjects to the rest of Louisiana and its people. His path eventually led to a teaching career and a return to his work as a lithographer. During the Civil War, Lion began lithographs of Confederate Sheet music covers. He did this until his death in January 1866.
Over a period of twenty years, Lion had begun a project of lithographic collection to publish into a book. Due to lack of funding, the project was never finished.
Despite the unfinished book, his work is revered in a contemporary collection. Lion is now among a new exhibition of artwork curated by historian Deborah Willis called "Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography." It is the largest exhibit of black photographers in the history of exhibits, featuring over 300 images by photographers of African descent. The work is compiled into three sectors: The First 100 years: 1842-1942; Art and Activism; and A History Deconstructed.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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