Frances Binkley’s Photography

Update 2012-03-04: I’ve found a 1938 booklet by Rabinovitch, which includes the first portrait below among his students’ work. I’ve scanned it and contributed it to the Internet Archive, where you can see the portrait in context.


Here are some prints by Frances. There’s no information about where or when they were taken, and I can identify only one of the subjects. The portraits may come from her commercial work in Cleveland in 1938-1940, or from her time as a student at Rabinovitch’s studio in New York in 1937. She had her first commercial sitting in Cleveland on Oct. 15, 1938.1 I don’t know how many paid jobs she did, but the letters for 1939-40 often mention her portraits of friends, so she at least kept busy. Her picture “Old Actor”, described as “a well-realized head”, took first prize in the Portrait and Figure division of the May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1939.2 The boy listening to the radio is her son, my father, Robert W. Binkley.


  1. Doc. 4947: RCB to his parents, 1938-10-15.

  2. Henry S. Francis and William M. Milliken, “Review of the Exhibition,” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 26, no. 5 (May 1, 1939): 57-83, at p.63.