Pictures by JULES LION (1810-1866)

Jules Lion (1810-1866)


Although there is no photograph to put a face with its name, Jules Lion, has made a blueprint for other black photographers to follow. Above is daguerreotype photo that Jules Lion took of an unknown woman. Jules Lion was the first African-American to have his own studio. He is the earliest black photographer discovered making him so far the first African-American photographer.

Jules and myself have a lot in common. We both love photography and we both understand how expensive it can get. Creating the daguerreotype became expensive for Jules so he went back to what he knew best, lithographs. Lithographs were a cheap method of printing materials using a metal plate or stone with a smooth surface.

Besides running a studio, Jules Lion was a jack of many trades. He became a photography professor, co-founder of an art school as well as a painter. His paintings are very popular such as the portrait of President Andrew Jackson. Jules Lion continued his craft until his death in 1866.

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