Mamie E. Scurlock, 92, who helped her husband, the late Addison N. Scurlock, a pioneer black photographer, establish a nationally known photographic studio, died Wednesday at a private nursing home in Washington.
Addison Scurlock had photographed the great - Booker T. Washington, scientist Ernest Just, social and political activist Mary Church Terrell, composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, poets Paul Laurence Dunbar and Countee Cullen.
At his side, as his administrative assistant, was "Essie" Scurlock, described as a strong, yet quiet woman. She met the many prominent black Americans who came to the Scurlock studio at 9th and U Streets NW.
When she and her husband retired in 1962, the Scurlock Studio was taken over by their two sons, Robert and George. Mr. Scurlock died in 1964.
Today there is a Scurlock studio on Connecticut Avenue NW and a color laboratory on 18th Street NW.
Born in Washington, Mrs. Scurlock was a graduate of the old M Street High School and Miner Normal School. She taught in both the Baltimore and Washington school systems.
She married Addison Scurlock, by then wel lon the road to becoming a noted photographer, in 1912, and gave up teaching to become his associate.
The Scurlock family became an intrinsic part of the Washington scene. Both parents encourage their sons to be creative. Mrs. Scurlock said many years later that she and her husband wanted their children "(to work hard and build up a reputation like we did."
The national reputation of the family firm, one of the oldest black businesses in Washington, has been maintained.
Mrs. Scurlock was active in the Plymouth Congregational Church. She was a charter member of the Herculean Club and the Mus-So-Lit women's auxiliary.
In addition to her two sons, who live in Washington, she is survived by three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.