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DeWetter, Herman

    Full Name: DeWetter, Herman

    Other Names:

    • Herman de Wetter

    Gender: male

    Date Born: Estonia 1880

    Date Died: 25 June 1950

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): photographs

    Career(s): curators


    Founder and first curator of the photography collection at the Brooklyn Museum, 1934 to 1948. Herman DeWetter was born in Estonia in 1880, to minor nobility. DeWetter graduated from the Königlich-Sächsisches Polytechnikum (now Technische Universität Dresden), moving to the United States in 1904. From 1905 to 1918, DeWetter worked as an engineer at the contracting firm Holbrook, Cabot, & Rollins.

    During World War I, DeWetter served on the War Trade Board in Washington D.C.. DeWetter began his photography career as a hobbyist during his time as an engineer, Later, he gained employment at the Brooklyn Museum in 1934, and founded the department of photography, where he was the first curator. The photography collection was separated from the Department of Prints and Drawings at the retirement of Susan A. Hutchinson. Carl O. Schniewind became DeWetter’s colleague in the new Prints and Drawings Department. In July 1940, DeWetter helped establish the Brooklyn Museum’s first permanent collection of photography. DeWetter was a fellow of the American Photographic Society and an associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. Simultaneously, DeWetter was a lecturer, writer, and teacher of museum photography, and worked with until he retired in 1949. DeWetter died a year later, on June 25th, 1950.


    • Brooklyn Museum. “Portrait of a Middle-Aged Man.”
    • “Brooklyn Museum: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs,” January 13, 2006, Archives.
    • The New York Times. “Notes of the Camera World; Berkshire Exhibition.” July 28, 1940, sec. Archives.
    • The New York Times. “H. De Wetter Dies; Expert On Photos; Former Curator at Brooklyn Museum Once Had Served as Engineer in Siberia.” June 27, 1950, sec. Archives.

    Contributors: Zahra Hassan


    Zahra Hassan. "DeWetter, Herman." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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