Van Loo, Leon



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional


Life dates

Sint-Joris (Beernem, West Flanders), 1841 - Cincinnati [Ohio, USA], 1907


1858 - 1885 Cincinnati [Ohio, USA]
Léo Petrus Julius, ° 19.8.1841; + 10.1.1907. Forename erroneously transcribed "Levi" in the official report of deaths. Van Loo's early career was bound up with that of his mentor, Charles Waldack (see that name). Emigrated out of Antwerp on 15.12.1856 and spent the rest of his life in Cincinnati [Ohio, USA]. Naturalised on 12.10.1863. He took over Waldack's studio when the latter travelled back to Ghent in 1862-1863. Van Loo's own studio was situated at 148 West 4th Street in the 1860s and 1870s. Specialised in sophisticated portrait work. Genre picture representing wash day with five little children, 11 x 14 inches, displayed at the exhibition of the National Photographers' Association, Philadelphia, 1871. Composite of the Phoenix Club with 209 figures, 47 x 75 inches: "His taste for posing and grouping has led to much study on the subject" (Edward L. Wilson, Photographic Mosaics, Philadelphia, 1878, pp. 108-109).
Van Loo invested successfully in southern cotton following the American Civil War. Value of his real estate given as $15 000 in the 1870 census. He was recorded as a photographer in January 1885 but retired soon afterwards, even though he still gave his occupation as photographer in 1889 when applying for a new American passport. In retirement Van Loo devoted himself to artistic pursuits. A connoisseur of painting, he travelled several times to Europe on collecting trips; his whole art collection was displayed at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition in 1888. Founder member of the Cincinnati Art Club; president, 1894-1896. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Art Museum.


1858 - 1885 Cincinnati [Ohio, USA]


Vienna, 1873 ("Varieties of imperial cabinet photographs, portraits and genre groups from life"; honorable mention).

Genres / subject matter



HAVERSTOCK, Mary Sayne, et al (ed). Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900. A Biographical Dictionary. Kent, Ohio & London, The Kent State University Press, 2000, pp. 886-887.




Record source


Identity of institution


Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

MD / SFJ new 26.11.2019




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