Information on:

H.H. Bennett Studio


Visual Historian Who Made Wisconsin Dells Famous

More than a photographer, Henry Hamilton Bennett (1843-1908) was an inventive visual historian. His pioneering use of technology, combined with exquisite composition skills, created an enduring legacy for the Dells. His stereoscopic views of the Dells of the Wisconsin River attracted visitors from across the country, and truly made him the man who made Wisconsin Dells famous.
Pioneering, Inventive Photojournalist

H.H. Bennett embarked on his life as a photographer after an injury sustained in the Civil War permanently crippled his right hand, preventing him from becoming a carpenter. He did use carpentry skills, however, as he began a career as a photographer.

Purchasing a tintype studio in Wisconsin Dells (then Kilbourn City), he took his first stereographic landscape photographs of the rugged Wisconsin River dells in 1868. Constructing all aspects of the camera except for the lenses, he ventured out into the wooded landscape of the Dells and captured the area on film. He was one of the first photojournalists, using photographs to tell a story.
Celebrated 19th Century Landscape Photographer

H.H. Bennett is viewed as one of the ten best landscape photographers of the 19th century. While other photographers clung to their studios, Bennett developed a passion for landscape photography because, in his words, "It is easier to pose nature and less trouble to please." He developed the image of nature as a playground to be enjoyed, not feared."

H.H. Bennett's photography has been displayed in some of the most prestigious museums in the world and is prized by collectors.


Yvonne Price

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The only way to see what the Dell's looked like before the installation of the dam is to visit this museum. The museum itself is well maintained and contains a lot of early Dell's history. The studio portion is like stepping back in time and the gift shop is full of nice souvenirs as well as a wealth of literature. The staff was courteous and available to answer any questions. So glad we visited the museum to better understand why the Dell's are a beautiful tourist attraction.

Nancy VanDalsem

Friday, June 29, 2018
Saw what the Wisconsin Dells were back in the day. Good selection of historical photos and books. Great interaction with staff members. It was definitely worth our road trip detour.

Mel Silverbrandt

Friday, April 27, 2018
Must see. Enjoyed going through the museum. People there very helpful.

Andy Graves

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Interesting place to catch up on some history. To see all of the vintage photos and equipment was realty interesting to me.

Elliott Adams

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Amazing museum and shop about H. H. Bennett's work! As a photographer I was pleased by how knowledgeable and helpful the staff were. They helped me look for a specific print from Bennett, and we're able to find it in their electronic archive. Thanks again!

H.H. Bennett Studio is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media