A native of Monaghan, J.J. Clarke (1879-1961) took up photography while a medical student in Dublin. Between 1897 and 1904 he produced a remarkable series of images showing fashionable streetlife in the city. Facilitated by improvements in camera technology, these informal pictures capture the dynamism of a thriving metropolis. They illustrate women’s increased visibility and independence, portraying them as active figures in the urban drama. Clarke’s images also reveal a growing awareness of the presence of the photographer, both as witness and participant.
Two women walking past Sibley & Co. Stationers, No. 51 Grafton Street, c.1897-1904
Clarke Photographic Collection,
Courtesy National Library of Ireland