Beatrice Tonnesen (January 24, 1871 – May 12, 1958) was an American artist and photographer based in Chicago, Illinois from approximately 1896 – 1930. She is credited with having pioneered the use of photographs of live models in print advertising. In addition, her photos, and illustrations by leading artists based on her photos, were widely used in the calendar art of the era.
Beatrice Tonnesen was born June 24, 1871 in Winneconne, Wisconsin to Tonnes Tonnesen and Mary Sumner Tonnesen. Beatrice, who was hearing impaired, studied photography under Cook Ely, Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s leading photographer of the day, and at the Oshkosh Normal School. Tonnes Tonnesen was an immigrant from Norway, and one of the representative pioneer business men of Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Mary Sumner Tonnesen was a direct descendant of William Sumner of Bicester, England, who came to New England in 1636 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts.