Gilbert Islanders Photograph
File — Box: 1, Folder: 19
Identifier: Image Archive-Collection 40-(19)
Scope and Contents
1892. Unmounted albumen print (6 1/4" x 9") with the hand stamp of Kildare y Valdeavellano photographers on the verso. The caption accompanying the print reads as follows, "Gilbert Islanders imported by de Sabla to work on the coffee estate. Proved a great failure." An account taken from a newspaper article dated October 15, 1892 reports the following: “San Francisco. An Examiner reporter was on the cruise of the steamship Montserrat which arrived here Thursday from San José de Guatemala, after having loaded in Guatemalan ports 338 natives of the Gilbert Islands, who were delivered to wealthy plantation owners under a five years’ labor contract.” The reporter traveled aboard the ship in the guise of a sailor. He wrote that the ship was a slaver and the natives were sold in Guatemala at $100 a head, the amount being taken in the guise of fares. This is reportedly the only known photograph of Gilbert Island people.
- c. 1892
- Kildare y Valdeavellano (Photographer, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Open to the public. No known restrictions.
Biographical or Historical Information
Alberto G. Valdeavellano Cordero (1861-1928) began his photographic career as an apprentice in the studio of Emilio Herbruger, Senior, who started the first permanent photographic studio in Guatemala. In competition to Herbruger, an American named Walferstein set up shop, but soon sold it to Herbruger’s re-toucher, Edward J. Kildare, an American from San Francisco. Together Kildare and Valdeavellano, opened their own studio, the “Palace of Art,.” circa 1880. Known for their fine portraits of the elite of Guatemala City, they also specialized in portraits of the various Maya peoples in the surrounding countryside. Later Valdeavellano published numerous postcards and illustrated various periodicals in the capital.
1.00 Photographic Prints
Box 1, Folder 19
- Guatemala Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Indians of Central America -- Guatemala Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Portraits -- Guatemala Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Slavery -- Guatemala Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Archon Finding Aid Title
- Description rules
- Other Unmapped
- Language of description