I found six photos of my Grandfather in his military uniform that have the text "Sargent Studio - Rough Proof - Must Be Returned".

What is Sargent Studio?

My grandfather served in the USAF. He's the rank of Captain in this photo which means it was taken sometime after October 1955.

enter image description here

  • My googled guess if this is photo is from england aaa.si.edu/collections/images/detail/…
    – Sam
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 4:21
  • 2
    Since John Singer Sargent was a portrait painter who died in 1925, this photograph seems unlikely to be his work.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 11:01
  • Unless the studio stayed in business after he died under different management, but kept the name.
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 12:51
  • Most likely a studio located near a military base. The subjects of photos like the one you showed had them taken upon getting a promotion or graduating from a particular program. In my earlier years I had photos like that taken at Lackland AFB, Kessler AFB, and one or two others. Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 14:59
  • First, do you know when the photo was taken (at least before/after 1947)? Secondly, do you have a higher resolution photo? His insignia might give a clue as to where or when this photo was taken. All I can gather is that he's a USA CW2 (can't tell what the badge is).
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 22:19

3 Answers 3


Sargent Studio was a photographic studio at 154 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass., USA, in the 1930's to 1950's.

Among other work, they provided many of the yearbook photos for colleges like Harvard.

Several hundred members of the classes of 1943 and 1944 still have not had their pictures taken for the 1943 Album, the year book reported last night.

Since the period for sittings in the Houses is now over, all these men must go into Sargent Studio, 154 Boylston Street, Boston, any day this week between 9 and 5 o'clock. If any men do not do so, the Album will be forced to use their pictures from their Freshman Redbook. Because of the added expense caused by this move, these men will be liable to an extra charge

Source: Harvard Crimson, October 29 1942 http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1942/10/29/men-without-album-pictures-should-go/

They were still active to at least 1954, producing the 1954 Bridgewater State Teachers College Yearbook in that year:http://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1055&context=yearbooks

  • 3
    Wow, nice work. He was working at MIT in the late 50's while he was of the rank Captain like he is in the photo. Sadly the answer isn't as interesting as I had hoped. I wanted it to be part of some special military marketing campaign.
    – user47
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 4:05

I imagine it was the photographic studio where the photo was taken.

Presumably a number of photographs were taken and quick rough proof prints made and given to the subject for him to decide which ones he wanted after which the proofs would have been (or should have been) returned and final mounted/framed prints would have been produced.


This might be a bit late but I can confirm Sargent Studio was a portrait studio in Boston. My mom had her pictures done there in'57, so it was around until then. I've just found some pictures, as well as receipts and a flier for the studio.

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