A native New Englander educated at the English High School of Boston (class of 1869), Arthur A. Glines trained in graphic arts. At age twenty-one he was a freelance pencil artist listed in the Boston Directory at 48 Union Street. Yet his great interest was photography, which he sought practical instruction in throughout the 1870s. In 1880, Glines took over the established Marshall and Hastings Studio on Centre Street in Newton, Massachusetts. A sociable man with an entrepreneurial spirit, he invested in bicycle companies, joined associations, and became active in professional bodies. He was twice president of the New England Society of Photographers before he moved his headquarters to 6 Winter Street in Boston in 1890.
During the first phase of his career he was a diversified photographer, doing landscape photography to order as well as portraiture. He had the printing capacity to produce likeness from the cabinet size to life-size bust shots. An ambitious man, Glines moved to Boston in the hopes of making a national name by entering into the celebrity trade. He enjoyed fair success, maintaining the studio at 6 Winter Street for a decade. Efforts to increase his prominence in the trade put him repeatedly at odds with the municipal authorities. Glines's decision to the display photographs in portable cases along the sidewalk prompted the city fathers in 1895 to prohibit showcases that interrupted the public way. Believing that governmental authorities only responded to pressure from organized groups, Glines threw himself into efforts on behalf of photographers rights in the Photographers Association of America. The principle of strength in numbers prompted Glines and his fellow photographers to migrate to Boylston Street. There he and 20 colleagues, including five women proprietors, formed "Photographers Row." Neighbors included Fabian Bachrach and Charlotte Fairchild. In 1906 he secured the photo concession at Wonderland, the pleasure park at Revere Beach.
On March 29, 1921, he was severely injured when run over by a car driven by Bernard E. Whiteker while crossing the Boylston Street, Dartmouth Street intersection. A semi-invalid and widower at the end of his life, he worked until his death as an assistant in the studio on Centre Street that he had owned in the 1880s.
NOTES: "Photographer’s Row," Photo-Era Magazine 32 (1914), 256. "Arthur A. Glines," Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Eastern Massachusetts (New York: International Publishing Co.), 242. "Showcases on the Sidewalks," Boston Herald (Aug 9, 1895), 10. Boston Herald (May 13, 1906), 33. "Arthur A. Glines Struck by Motor Car," Boston Herald (Mar 30, 1921), 5. David S. Shields/ALS
Glines's portraits display an expert handling of background, whether neutral or painted. He had a penchant for shooting heads rather close up. His background in graphic artists emerged in the 1890s when he introduced the "crayonette," a graphically reworked portrait that had the looseness of a drawing mingled with the precise mapping of features of a photograph. The vogue of this novelty lasted approximately three years from 1890 to 1893. During his Winter St. heyday, the side of his three-story studio proclaimed "Glines The Photographer."