“Lincoln today and for several days will be in the hands of the picture takers,” said the Omaha Bee on May 14, 1903, “for at this time the photographers from all over the state are holding their fourteenth annual convention.” Most sessions of the Nebraska Photographers Association’s meeting, May 13-15, were held on the University of Nebraska campus. More than one thousand pictures taken by members of the association were on display in conjunction with the event. The public was invited to view the photographs, which were later judged and prizes awarded.
More than one hundred members of the statewide association attended. Lectures on photography and educational demonstrations were supplemented by entertainment, including a musical presented at the Lindell Hotel and “field day sports,” first scheduled for Lincoln Park, and later moved into the YMCA building.
However, the conventioneers did make it to Lincoln Park on May 14, when longtime Lincoln photographer E. G. Clements, or someone from his studio, photographed them at the park restaurant. Several other photographs of Lincoln Park (now Cooper Park) in the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, depict a wooded area with a lake, footbridge, and gated entrance. An 1891 newspaper advertisement for the park also mentioned a “Mammoth Pavilion” for dancing, with all attractions available for a ten-cent admission fee.
The Nebraska photographers again held their state convention in Lincoln in 1904, with various sporting contests, including a baseball game, scheduled for Lincoln Park. – Patricia C. Gaster, Assistant Editor / Publications