Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Forbes, Andrew Alexander

FORBES, ANDREW ALEXANDER (1862–1921).

A photographer, Andrew Alexander Forbes was born in Ottowa, Wisconsin, in 1862. Although little is known about Forbes's training and early photography work, his activity in the area that is now western Oklahoma appears to have begun around 1885. Like those of other itinerant photographers of the time, his studio was a self-contained, mobile unit that could be transported by wagon or pack animal.

Forbes found the largest customer base for his trade in the groups of working cowboys located in the area that is now western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. He often joined a range-cattle outfit for several days to photograph cowboys and herds on their grazing range.

The opening of the Unassigned Lands in April 1889 was an irresistible business opportunity for Forbes. He made photographs of Oklahoma City just a few days after it was established. His landscape photographs capture images of a frontier town at birth and include long-range shots of tents, wooden buildings with false fronts, frame buildings under construction, and piles of lumber positioned near the railroad depot.

He also photographed settlers on their homesteads, but only a few of these images have survived. These family photographs, often made in front of sod houses, would become important heirlooms to be passed down through several generations. Forbes spent approximately seven to eight years in Oklahoma Territory before continuing his journey west. He eventually settled in Bishop, California, where he established a photography studio. Andrew Alexander Forbes died on March 21, 1921.

John R. Lovett

See also: ADA WILLS GARSIDE, ANNETTE ROSS HUME, WILLIAM S. PRETTYMAN, WESTERN HISTORY COLLECTIONS

Bibliography

Karen Current and William R. Current, Photography and the Old West (New York: Amon Carter, Inc., 1978).

Andrew A. Forbes Collection, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman.

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
John R. Lovett, "Forbes, Andrew Alexander," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed December 17, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia