1848 - 1928
was born in Ireland. He had a long career as a professional photographer,
and renowned for his work from his studio in Princes Street, Edinburgh.
died, aged almost 80, on 23 August 1928. His photograph and obituary were
printed in the British Journal of Photography the following week. Here are
some extracts from the obituary:
"The world of portrait photographers
loses one of its greatest figures in the passing of Mr William Crooke."
"To the new generation of photographer, Mr
Crooke may perhaps be little known but those whose memory runs back for twenty
years or more, when Mr Crooke was at the height of his photographic activity
will have an appreciation of the achievements which have distinguished Mr Crooke
as an outstanding member of the photographic profession and have earned him the
designation of the "Raeburn of Photography."
remained a member of the Professional Photographers' Association into his
retirement, and was a regular contributor to the London Salon until 1925.
The obituary described him as having a wide artistic
interests and a delightful personality. It commented on his portraiture
"His portraiture exhibited a characteristic
conservatism. He would
not employ any process that would not stand the test of time, and thus used
platinotype and carbon only, printing by contact from negatives taken direct
upon large plates."
"His awards for portraiture gained at
important exhibitions amounted, it is believed, to a greater number than can be
credited ot any other photographer of his time."
[BJP 31 Aug 1928, p.532]
Tour of America
The week after publishing William Crooke's
obituary, the BJP published a note from H Walter of Barnet, who had known
William Crooke since 1897.
H Walter described a tour that the two photographers
made to the US in 1910, travelling together from Liverpool in the ill-fated
This was William Crooke's only visit to America, and
included visits to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, St Luis,
Chicago, Buffalo, Niagara (ice bound) and Rochester. They were given two
days' hospitality by Kodak and were entertained to lunch by George Eastman.
Commenting on William Crooke's photography, H Walter
"His work had not the strength of the
American school, but was distinguished by a charm which he imposed upon his
women sitters and a fine dignity upon his men, who were mainly made up of well
known lawyers, doctors and politicians resident in Scotland."
Crooke's Other Interests
H Walter also commented on William Crooke's house,
Craigcrook, at Dunbar, romantically situated overlooking the North Sea and
Berwick Law, his lifetime membership of the Scottish Conservative Club and his
enjoyment of the game of golf.
[BJP 7 September 1928, p.549]