Unfolding Narratives in the Pierre de Gigord Collection

Three Girls, 1890, photographer unknown. Albumen print. Pierre de Gigord Collection of Photographs of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. The Getty Research Institute, 96.R.14 A collection of photographs from Ottoman Turkey offers a complex encounter with collective memory. By Hande Sever / 06.25.2018 Art Historian Before coming across the Pierre de Gigord Collection, I[…]

Rediscovering a ‘Lost’ Roman Frontier from the Air

Rewriting history from the air. William S Hanson Scrutinizing archives of aerial photography, we have been able to identify as Roman two more walls that will transform our understanding of the frontier of the Roman Empire in Eastern Europe.    By Dr. William S. Hanson and Dr. Ioana Oltean / 09.16.2013 Hanson: Professor of Roman Archaeology,[…]

Photography’s History is Told as Art – It Shouldn’t Be

Linnaeus Tripe, Front of the Mundapum at Secundermalie, 1858. © Wilson Centre for Photography The history of photography needs to be freed from the artistic canon. By Dr. Elizabeth Edwards / 02.23.2015 Professor in Photographic History De Montfort University We all think we know what photographs are, and why we have them. Photographs are everywhere. For the past 150[…]

70 Years of Instant Photos, Thanks to Inventor Edwin Land’s Polaroid Camera

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left. AP Photo Whether at a family gathering or in a research lab, getting access to images immediately was a game changer. And Land’s innovations went far beyond the instant photo. By Dr. Ann E. Elsner / 05.18.2018 Professor of Optometry Indiana University It probably happens every[…]

Yvette Borup Andrews: Photographing Central Asia in the Early 20th Century

“Young China”, featured in Camps and Trails in China (1918) / HathiTrust Digital Library Although often overshadowed by the escapades of her more famous husband (said by some to be the real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones), the photographs taken by Yvette Borup Andrews on their first expeditions through Central Asia stand today as a compelling contribution to[…]

An Introduction to Photography in the Early 20th Century

Eastman Kodak Advertisement for the Brownie Camera, c. 1900 By Dr. Juliana Kreinik / 08.09.2015 Art Historian, Photographer Photography undergoes extraordinary changes in the early part of the twentieth century. This can be said of every other type of visual representation, however, but unique to photography is the transformed perception of the medium. In order[…]

Inside the Photography of Ishiuchi Miyako

ひろしま/hiroshima #9 (Ogawa Ritsu), 2007, Ishiuchi Miyako. Chromogenic print. © Ishiuchi Miyako 70 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the Japanese artist imbues women’s objects from the event with a ghostly presence. By Amanda Maddox / 08.06.2015 Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs J. Paul Getty Museum For the last eight years, Ishiuchi Miyako has traveled[…]

Julia Margaret Cameron in Ceylon: Idylls of Freshwater vs. Idylls of Rathoongodde

Photograph of a Sinhalese woman by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1875 – Flickr, Creative Commons Leaving her close-knit artistic community on the Isle of Wight at the age of sixty to join her husband on the coffee plantations of Ceylon was not an easy move for the celebrated British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Eugenia Herbert explores the[…]

Photographing the Architecture of Decay

Casemate H667, 2006, Jane and Louise Wilson. Black and white Laser Chrome print. © Jane and Louise Wilson 2006 Through photographs, the artists document twentieth-century ruins and the faded ideologies that once animated them. By Lyra Kilston / 07.02.2017 Editor, Public Affairs Department J. Paul Getty Museum Bunkers, by their nature, are the peak of[…]

A History of Printing and Typesetting in Film

An Intertype Fotosetter, one of the most popular “first-generation” mass-market phototypesetting machines. The system is heavily based on hot metal typesetting technology, with the metal casting machinery replaced with photographic film, a light system and glass pictures of characters. / Photo by Fox Wu, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Rob Banham Associate Professor of Typography and Graphic Communication University[…]

Walker Evans’s Havana, through an Architect’s Lens

People in Downtown Havana / Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art By Jessica Portner / 07.18.2011 Editorial Manager National History of Museum of Los Angeles County Julio César Pérez Hernández, architect and author of Inside Cuba, visits the Getty Center this Thursday to talk about Cuban architecture in conjunction with the exhibition A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans[…]

Henry Wellcome: Pioneer in Aerial Photography

Henry Wellcome with Sultans of Socota [Jebel Moya]. Photograph, 191? Wellcome Images reference: M0008634. By Carly Dakin / 03.15.2017 Clinical Collection Coordinator Wellcome Images It’s a little known fact that Sir Henry Wellcome was something of a pioneer in aerial photography. Wellcome first visited Sudan in 1900, to establish what became the Wellcome Tropical Research[…]

Artist Zeke Peña on Illustrating the Life of Photographer Graciela Iturbide

Photographer Graciela Iturbide Artist and illustrator Zeke Peña talks about making comic books and bringing photographer Graciela Iturbide’s work to life in a new graphic biography. By Sarah Waldorf / 11.21.2017 Media Producer Getty Web Group The new book Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, Getty Publications’ first graphic biography, tells the story of Mexican photographer Graciela[…]

The Art of Photographing Architecture with Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards photographs the interior of the Berlin Philharmonic, 2017. Photos: Emily Pugh Why photographing buildings is very different from photographing people By Marissa Clifford / 11.22.2017 Research Assistant, Digital Art History Group Getty Research Institute Chris Edwards is good with people but hates photographing them. Instead, he shoots buildings. For nearly a decade, he[…]

‘Topographic Memory’ and Landscape Photography

Bruce Lindsey, “Paradise Valley, MT. July 28, 2013.” Lindsey explores the inherent tensions of landscape photography. By Liam Otten / 09.27.2017 Senior News Director, Arts and Humanities Washington University in St. Louis Storm clouds gather above Rocky Mountain peaks, summer rains sweeping amber fields below. Skeletal trees overlook muddy flood waters, bark shining silver in[…]

Chris Killip as Photographer and Teacher

Angelic Upstarts at a Miners’ Benefit Dance at the Barbary Coast Club, Sunderland, Wearside (detail), 1984, Chris Killip. Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, purchased in part with funds provided by Alison Bryan Crowell, Trish and Jan de Bont, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, Manfred Heiting, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, and Lyle and[…]

Preserving Native American History in Ambrotype Photography

People at the United Tribes Technical College Powwow are photographed as an ambrotype in 2016. The crowd raised their right hands in support of Native Americans everywhere. / Ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Using an early photographic process, one photographer hopes to draw a line connecting what happened to the Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, 155 years[…]

Stuffed Ox, Dummy Tree, Artificial Rock: Deception in the Work of Richard and Cherry Kearton

“Shouldering the imitation ox”, from a 1909 edition of Richard Kearton’s Wild Nature’s Ways / archive.org John Bevis explores the various feats of cunning and subterfuge undertaken by the Kearton brothers — among the very first professional wildlife photographers — in their pioneering attempts to get ever closer to their subjects. By John Bevis /[…]

Love, Death, and Blissful Ignorance: Pliny and the Origins of Photography

By Dr. Peter Kruschwitz / 04.23.2017 From The Petrified Muse Professor of Classics Fellow of the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) University of Reading Pliny the Elder, ancient Rome’s great encyclopedist, did not, of course, describe the origins of modern photography – a technique and art that was greatly advanced in Reading, Berkshire,[…]

Thomas Annan and ‘The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow’ in Early Photography

By Dr. Lionel Gossman / 05.28.2015 M. Taylore Pyne Professor of Romance Languages Princeton University The best-known, most widely-admired, and most problematical of Annan’s architectural photographs make up the collection known as The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow. These photographs were commissioned by the City of Glasgow Improvement Trust, an agency set up to[…]

Allan Sekula’s Papers Reveal His Art, Writing, and Thought Process

Dear Bill Gates, 1999, Allan Sekula. Photograph. The Getty Research Institute, 2016.M.22. © Allan Sekula Studio LLC. A partial gift from Sally Stein, in memory of her husband Allan Sekula Allan Sekula’s papers, newly acquired by the Getty Research Institute, document the visionary artist and critic’s meticulous process and socially engaged practice. By Sarah Zabrodski[…]

The Built Environment: Thomas Annan and Early Architectural Photography

By Dr. Lionel Gossman / 05.28.2015 M. Taylore Pyne Professor of Romance Languages Princeton University Annan appears to have had a genuine appreciation of architecture as well as of painting. Once again, however, much of his published work resulted from commissions. Two large volumes illustrating local gentlemen’s mansions—The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow[…]

An Introduction to Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph

1:10 Hill and Adamson, “Newhaven Fishermen.” By Thomas Annan, 1845. Salted paper print. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937, Accession Number: 37.98.1.78. ©Metropolitan Museum. By Dr. Lionel Gossman / 05.28.2015 M. Taylore Pyne Professor of Romance Languages Princeton University From Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph Victorian Scotland was[…]