TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Thomas and Joan Gandy Photograph Collection, circa 1870-1930
Dr. Thomas H. Gandy, a Natchez physician, began collecting historic photography in 1960 when he purchased negatives made by a Natchez-based father and son photography studio, Norman’s Studio. Henry C. Norman had opened his own studio in Natchez during the late 1870s, and for the next 40 years documented weddings, christenings, holiday events, parties and riverboats. Upon Henry Norman’s death in 1913, his son Earl operated the studio through the 1940s. After acquiring the Norman archive and the work of Henry Norman’s early employer, Henry Gurney, Dr. Gandy spent 10 years cleaning, sorting and printing the original negatives and preparing lectures based on the photographs. In the 1970s, Dr. Gandy and his wife, Joan Gandy, published their first book on the archive,Norman’s Natchez: An Early Photographer and His Town, followed by Natchez Victorian Children (1981) and The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs (1987).
After acquiring the work of the Norman Studio, the Gandys continued to collect the work of other professional and amateur photographers, exhibiting photographs throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain. A permanent exhibit of photographs of the Gandy collections is mounted at the Stratton Chapel Galley, part of the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Natchez. Dr. Gandy died in 2004.
The Thomas and Joan Gandy Photograph Collection consists of 114 exhibit prints made from photographs by the Norman Studio and Henry Gurney, then collected by Dr. Thomas H. Gandy. The photographs were exhibited at the Center for American History (the predecessor organization of the Briscoe Center for American History) in 1997. Subjects pictured in the collection include scenes around Natchez; steamboats and other boats, notably the U.S.S. Benton, J. M. White, Anchor Line boats, the Guiding Star, the John A. Scudder, the Concordia, the wreck of the T. P. Leathers, and President William Howard Taft aboard the Lily; the boat landing at Angola Plantation; cotton farming; children at play; bars; the Natchez Rifles militia; construction of the Masonic Temple in Natchez; a Mardi Gras celebration; firemen; Confederate soldiers; Jefferson College; Natchez mansions; Texas; and several portraits.
Use of exhibit prints is by appointment only; please contact photo archivist for more information.
Requests for reproductions must be referred to donor.
Thomas and Joan Gandy Photograph Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Amy Bowman, May 2014.