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Chansonetta Stanley Emmons collection

Identifier: 0114

Collection Scope and Content

This collection includes numerous items relating to Chansonetta Stanley Emmons' life and work, including include copies of correspondence, photographs, articles, and glass plate negatives of images taken in Kingfield and New Portland, Maine.


  • 1886 - 2008, undated



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Curator of the Maine Women Writers Collection.

Biographical/Historical Note

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons was an American photographer and author whose work is deeply connected to the state of Maine. Emmons was born in 1858 in Kingfield, Maine, a small town near the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain. After finishing studies at Western State Normal School in Farmington, Emmons decided she wanted to become an artist. After a brief stint teaching drawing classes in Kingfield, Emmons travelled to Lewiston and Auburn to seek drawing lessons from her older brother, who was also an artist. It was there that she first encountered, and fell in love with, photography. She later moved to Boston, where she taught art in the school system while studying painting. In Boston, she met her husband, James Nathaniel Whitman Emmons. Her brothers purchased the couple a home outside of the city. Here Emmons gave birth to her daughter Dorothy, and also rediscovered her love for the camera. In 1898, Emmons’ husband, James, died suddenly of blood poisoning. Emmons returned to Kingfield a widow, where she practiced her photography. She began holding exhibitions and collected numerous prints for shows and for sale. Her photos were shown at the Tricentennial Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 1927. She also took part in shows organized by the Boston YMCA Camera Club and the South Carolina Art Association in Charleston. The Farnsworth Museum of Art at Wellesley College presented an exhibition of Emmons’ prints in 1913. These shows represent the bulk of Emmons’ public exposure, but despite this lack of consistent success Emmons was still able to support herself and Dorothy on what she earned as a photographer and artist. As she aged, Emmons’ health deteriorated and she began to lose the ability to hear, and she faced numerous other health complications in the years leading up to her death. In March of 1937, Chansonetta Stanley Emmons passed away at the age of 79.


1 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is organized as a single series.

Related Materials

Dorothy Stanley Emmons collection, 1917, undated

Processing Information

The two boxes of glass plate negatives have lists of images, some with dates and other more descriptive information, but we could not reliably identify which image went with which description. The images are probably mostly taken in either Kingfield, ME or in New Portland, ME. We chose to create descriptive titles instead of possibly misidentifying images.

  • Artists Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Kingfield (Me.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Photography Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Guide to the Chansonetta Stanley Emmons collection, 1886 - 2008
William Blastos
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Maine Women Writers Collection Repository

Abplanalp Library
University of New England
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland Maine 04103 United States