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Constance Stuart Larrabee

(Camborne, England, 1914 - 2000, Chestertown, Maryland)

American, born England

Born in Camborne in the English county of Cornwall, she grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. Early in her life, she knew she wanted to become a photographer. She studied in London and Munich in the early 1930s. She returned to South Africa and earned a living at her studio taking portraits of the leading citizens. She also worked on her own to record scenes of Johannesburg, the diamond mines of Kimberly and the Bo Kaap quarter in Cape Town. In 1944, she was named South Africa's first woman war correspondent. She was assigned to the South African 6th Armoured Division in Italy and the 7th American Army in France. She spent six weeks in Egypt, then followed the Allied sweep through France and Italy. After the war, she returned to South Africa and exhibited her photos there and worked on assignments for Harper's Bazaar and Libertas magazines. Spotlight magazine printed her diary of World War II experiences titled "Jeep Trek." In her 20s and 30s, she photographed the Bushmen, Zulu, Swazi, Sotho and Transkei people of South Africa and created photo portraits of the luminaries of the day - from composer and dramatist Noel Coward to members of the British royal family. In 1949, she settled in Chestertown, where she bred prize-winning Norwich and Norfolk terriers at her King's Prevention farm. She also photographed the Eastern Shore's rivers, creeks, wildlife and people. Washington College gave an exhibit of this work, "Celebration on the Chesapeake," in 1976. She died July 27 of respiratory failure at her Heron Point, Chestertown, home. She was 85.

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