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Frances Benjamin Johnston was born in 1864. She was the first American female press photographer, who opened her own photographic studio in 1894 in Washington, capturing notable figures of the time and was also commissioned by magazines for celebrity portraits which included those of Alice Roosevelt (1884-1980). Thereafter appointed as the official White House photographer, she was cited as the ‘Photographer to the American court’. She opened a studio in New York in 1913 with her partner Mattie Edwards Hewitt (1869-1956), continuing photography until the 1940s.


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