Friday 26 October 2012


Waiting for the train at Ixopo Station. Natal, South Africa. 1949

Constance Stuart Larrabee was born in Cornwall, England but moved to South Africa with her parents when she was three months old. Constance’s interest in photography began in 1924 when she was given a Kodak Box Brownie for her birthday. After graduating from Pretoria High School in 1933, Constance spent three years studying in England and Germany. She is one of the first South African women to study photography abroad. 
On her return to South Africa in 1936 she opened her own studio where she photographed the leading statesmen, generals, artists, writers, society and theatrical personalities of the time. She also enjoyed travelling through South Africa and taking photographs of the numerous ethnic cultures of the country: Ndebele, Bushmen, Lovedu, Zulu, Swazi, the Basotho and the Xhosa peoples. Constance became South Africa’s first woman correspondent when the Director of the South African Military Intelligence, appointed her to cover the war for Libertas magazine. During this time she covered Egypt, Italy, France and England photographing with the American 7th Army in France and the South African 6th Armoured Division in Italy. 
In 1949 Constance married Sterling Loop Larrabee in the United States and the following year they moved to Chestertown, Maryland. She then stopped taking photographs.