Samuel Alschuler painted portraits of himself and his wife, Fannie (1999.107.2) around the time of their marriage. Alschuler maintained a photographic studio in Chicago in the 1850's. A business card states that his specialties were "Copies from Old Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes and Small Photographs enlarged to any required size and painted in Oil, Water Colors, Indian Ink and Crayon."
Portrait of Samuel Alschuler (1826-1882), head and shoulders facing slightly to the left. brown hair and beard. He is wearing a black suit, white shirt and black tie.
After the German revolution of 1848 failed, Samuel Alschuler (1826-82) and many other reform-minded Jews left their homeland for America. Alschuler lived in downstate Illinois before moving to Chicago around 1853 and opening a photography studio on Lake Street. He joined the Jewish community, but his progressive views led him to secede from KAM and help found Sinai Congregation in 1861. Alschuler and others wanted to modernize Judaism by eliminating some old practices, lessening the stress on dogma, and emphasizing social and political issues.