Anthony Collection-Killarney

Photography in Killarney

Louis Anthony Collection:

Prior to the present century, photography was carried out only on a small scale in the town. In 1904 Louis Anthony came to Killarney from Alsace-Lorraine and served as chef at the Royal Victoria Hotel where, in the splendour of an old-world ball-room, noblemen and their ladies waltzed to the immortal music of Johann Strauss. After a time he opened a guest house in Main Street and carried out photography on a part-time basis. Eventually he opened a studio in High Street, working as a full-time photographer.

During the tourist season he would travel to the Gap of Dunloe (a distance of six miles) and back daily by pony and trap. Later he went by bicycle, and finally he purchased a motor car to do the journey. He would develop the photographs and take the finished pictures to Ross Castle, one and a half miles away, in time for the visitors returning by boat from The Gap.

In this and many other ways he revolutionised the photographic business in the town. Children who made their first communion , and others who made their confirmation, as well as newly-weds and many about to embark on the emigrant-ship, would visit his studio to have their photographs taken as souvenirs of such special occasions.

All who visited the studio found Louis Anthony a most kindly man, who gave to all his whole-hearted and expert attention and to each individual an air of importance so necessary to the taking of a good photograph. He died in November 1933.

His colour photo-views of Killarney were a very high quality and have now become so scarce that they may well be regarded as antique.

His predecessor in the photography business in Killarney was James Healy, and Before him the business was carried on by Michael O'Callaghan.

(reproduced from John F.O'Sullivan's Glimpses of Paradise,1969)


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