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John L. Garretson

Born: Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.

John L. Garretson was an American photographer based in Buffalo, N.Y. He graduated cum laude from the University of Buffalo Dental School in 1910 and began his own dental practice in Buffalo. Garretson was a pioneer in dental X-ray photography and patented a special X-ray film. He was a professor of operative dentistry at the university from 1910 to 1922.

Photography was a hobby of Garretson’s during his college years and into adulthood. Recognized as a photo-pictorialist, he was a member of the Buffalo Camera Club for several decades and served as president of the organization in 1915. In the 1940s he became director of another local club, the Lenshawks. His work was displayed many times, including the 1915 Buffalo Camera Club Exhibition (at which he won first prize), the 1925 and 1933 salons of Pictorial Photography, and the 1947 Guild of Allied Artists Exhibit (at which he won another first prize).

The Burchfield Penney Art Center has the largest known collection of Garretson’s work.


Biographical information adapted from Anthony Bannon, The Photo Pictorialists of Buffalo, Buffalo Media Study, 1981.