Eadweard Muybridge: Photos in Motion Are Born in 1878

After experimenting with different camera systems, Muybridge made a series of photographs at Stanford’s Palo Alto horse track. By Dr. Kris Belden-AdamsAssociate Professor of Art HistoryThe University of Mississippi Introduction Until the 1870s, the prevailing convention in the visual arts for representing horses in mid-stride was the “flying gallop.” This graceful pose—in which the horse[…]

Nadar: The Birth of Aerial Photography in 1858

For Nadar his name was attached not only to his art, but also to a persona that he worked hard to cultivate. Elevating Photography When Honoré Daumier immortalized Nadar—famed photographer, writer, and caricaturist—photographing wildly while aloft in his hot air balloon in 1862, photography was just 23 years old. The invention of the daguerreotype had been announced in Paris[…]

Louis Daguerre and the Birth of Commercial Photography in 1837

Daguerre—a Parisian theatrical scene-painter/designer and showman—saw his new medium as part-art, part-science. By Dr. Kris Belden-AdamsAssociate Professor of Art HistoryThe University of Mississippi Introduction Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s oldest surviving photograph (which predates the announcement of the invention of the medium in 1839 by two years), The Artist’s Studio / Still Life with Plaster Casts, was made using his modestly[…]

291 Fifth Avenue: Photography and Art in Early 20th-Century New York

Many artists and critics debated whether photography belonged within the realm of art exhibited in galleries and museums. 291 Fifth Avenue If you walked into the “Little Galleries of the Photo Secession” at 291 Fifth Avenue run by New York photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his devotees between 1905–1917, you would likely have been surprised. You[…]

Lang Jingshan and Early Chinese Photography

Photography arrived in China from Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. Introduction Can a photograph be appreciated in the manner of a Chinese painting? This is the question that Lang Jingshan (also spelled Long Chin-San, 1892–1995, born in Jiangsu Province), a pioneer of early art photography in China and the so-called “father of Asian photography,” asked[…]

Native Americans and the Dehumanizing Force of the Photograph

Dance bonnet and scalplock of an Omaha Indian / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The legacy and impact of photographs that make for some uncomfortable viewing. By Allison C. Meier / 03.22.2018 Photographs, and how people are presented in them, can impact health and survival. In the 19th century, such photographs and artistic depictions of indigenous people as primitives[…]

Native Americans through the 19th-Century Lens

Portrait of Assuz, a San Carlos Apache Indian, c 1898 / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The pictures are striking and iconic, but the story behind them is far from black and white. Here, we profile 19th-century photographer Frank Rinehart’s remarkable portrayal of Native Americans. By Allison C. Meier / 03.22.2018 The 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in[…]

A Photographic Tour of the Persian Gulf and Iraq, 1906

‘House of the dragoman [translator] of British Consulate Basra’, 1906 (IOR/L/PS/20/C260, f 27), Public Domain  Wilfrid Malleson’s November, 1906, report and photos from an intelligence gathering tour in the Persian Gulf. By Louis Allday / 10.21.2018 PhD Student History SOAS University of London In November 1906, Wilfrid Malleson, a British military intelligence officer, departed from Simla[…]

Abraham Lincoln: Embracing a New Technology for a Public Image

Read my lips (and forehead). Wikimedia Commons Abraham Lincoln brought commercial photographers on board. By Dr. Joanna Cohen / 10.31.2014 Lecturer in American History Queen Mary University of London Face It A virtual unknown on the national stage in 1860, Lincoln needed a public image in the run up to his first presidential campaign. Artists[…]

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[…]