DICTIONARY OF ART HISTORIANS
A Biographical Dictionary of Historic Scholars, Museum Professionals and Academic Historians of Art
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Anderson, Giacomo (or James), née Isaac Atkinson, also Nugent Dunbar
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1878
Photo-documentarian, founder of the Anderson photoarchive. Born Isaac Atkinson, Anderson was raised in Cumberland, England and settled in Rome in 1838. His intention was to be a painter and, under the signature Nugent Dunbar, submitted several works to the exhibition of the Select Society, London, in 1839. In addition to his paintings and watercolors, he periodically sent back drawings for British newspapers. He switched to photography in 1853 after experimenting with the medium for a number of years. Changing his name to Giacomo Anderson, he set up shop in the Piazza Spagna where his principle livelihood was photographing sculpture for artists. Anderson's interest, however, was in photographing classical antiquities and renaissance sculpture. His son, Domenico, succeeded his father after his death and greatly enlarged the collection, changing the business to principally an archive of photographic negatives of historic art work.
Sources: "Photographs" (Letter from Italy). Burlington Magzine 79 (May 1964):427-8.