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[…]

The Story of Edwin Land

April 1947, Edwin H. Land demonstrating the Polaroid Land Camera’s instant film. / Image courtesy of Baker Library/Harvard Business School Baker Library mounts exhibit on long career of scientific inventor, founder of Polaroid By Martina I. Jokic / 12.07.2016 It’s a long-term exhibit on instant photography, and more. The Baker Library has mounted a show[…]

The Kinora Picture Reel (VIDEO)

Home entertainment from a century ago. 09.26.2016 Founded in 1896, Kinora Ltd. produced some of the first motion pictures in history. It converted the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe into a home entertainment movie machine. Printed film reels could be purchased or rented, and personal “moving portraits” could be taken in a photographic studio. In 1908 the[…]

Embracing Imperfection: A Conversation with Photographer Richard Learoyd

Richard Learoyd at the Getty Center, August 29, 2016. Photo: Tristan Bravinder. All rights reserved The English photographer on his enigmatic, human images and experimental working methods By Tristan Bravinder / 09.15.2016 Working at large size—his prints are four feet wide and up to six feet tall—photographer Richard Learoyd creates striking, lifelike portraits and still[…]

Photographing Electricity

Lightbulbs, about 1938, Fred G. Korth. Gelatin silver print, 13 1/4 x10 5/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 86.XM.13.13 An exhibition shows how artists have depicted electricity, making visible the tension between our love of the new and our nostalgia for the past By Tristan Bravinder / 07.27.2016 Light bulbs and wires carrying electricity[…]

The Empathetic Camera: Frank Norris and the Invention of Film Editing

A portrait of Frank Norris by the painter Ernest Clifford Peixotto, possibly Norris’ oldest friend, the two having first met at California School of Design in 1886 / Wikimedia Commons At the heart of American author Frank Norris’ gritty turn-of-the-century fiction lies an essential engagement with the everyday shock and violence of modernity. Henry Giardina[…]