Selectman and His Wife, ca. 1899.

While exhibiting in the salons was critical to affirming the Allens’ place in the milieu of art photography, it was through books and periodicals that their work became familiar to a broader audience. Books reproducing Allen sisters’ photographs generally drew on the strengths of old Deerfield. Authors Alice Morse Earle, Hannah Hudson Moore, Marion Harland, and George Sheldon commissioned pictures of artifacts in Memorial Hall Museum and the old houses as well as genre scenes realizing Colonial Revival interests in the past. Antiquarians were not alone in their interest in Allen photographs. Sometimes Allen sisters’ photographs illustrated fictionalized stories with intriguing titles. For example, “The Knuckling Down of Mrs. Gamble,” in the January 1900 issue of Good Housekeeping, is illustrated with Selectman and his Wife. Another publication, Mother Nature and Her Fairies by Hugh Findlay (1913), incorporated Allen sisters’ photographs with pen and ink drawings titled “The Fairy Flower” and “Woodland Fairies.”65

Photographs courtesy of Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA.