Ams 312 Lecture 2 090922

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  • In the beginning
    • competing technologies [cf. VHS vs Beta]
    • early public fascinations with photography
    • everyone could now have their own personal visual history
  • Pre-photography Niepce, View from His Window at Le Gras , 1826-27 Portable camera obscura, late17th century
  • The daguerreotype [1837-39]
    • both one-of-a-kind precious object and ephemeral image
    • capable of incredible detail
    • long exposure times: one minute minimum
    • the death of portrait miniaturists
    • now everyone could have their own personal visual history
  • The daguerreotype
  • Competing photographic systems: the English calotype [1841]
    • a paper-based negative/positive system
    • second on the scene
      • the role of nationalism: France vs England
      • the restrictive patent system taken out by Henry Fox Talbot stifling its growth outside of England
    • high volume printing establishments spreading the photographic message
  • William Henry Fox Talbot British, London, April 1839 Photogenic drawing negative
  • "[T]he plates of this work have been obtained by the mere action of Light upon sensitive paper. They have been formed or depicted by optical and chemical means alone, and without the aid of any one acquainted with the art of drawing." William Henry Fox Talbot British, Wiltshire, England, November 4, 1839 Photogenic drawing negative
  • "We have sufficient authority in the Dutch school of art, for taking as subjects of representation scenes of daily and familiar occurrence. A painter's eye will often be arrested where ordinary people see nothing remarkable." The Open Door , 1844 William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 18001877) Salted paper print from paper negative
  • Hill and Adamson he First General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland; signing the Act of Seperation and Deed of Demission - 18th May 1843 (D.O. Hill RSA).
  • Hill & Adamson Scottish, about 1843 Salt print
  • Industrial efficiencies
  • The daguerreotype in America [1839]
    • no formal art training necessary
      • apprenticeship
    • Nathaniel Hawthornes Holgrave in The House of Seven Gables
      • his seventh profession, no more lasting than the first six
      • money, not art, technique not aesthetics: earn his bread by some other equally digressive means
  • The daguerreotype in America [continued]
    • the photographic ordeal
      • one advertisement: Photography in all styles without pain
      • somber, stern, and unsmiling sitters
    • the excellence of the American Process: Yankee ingenuity and industrial skill at work
      • infatuation with machinery: electroplating, power buffing
  • John Plumbe, Jr and the United States Photographic Institute [1841]
    • the first franchise operation: 14 galleries nationwide
    • credit going to the studio rather than the individual photographer
    • the chronicling of ordinary faces in relatively ordinary activities
  • John Plumbe, Jr. Washington, D.C., about 1846
  • Matthew Brady and the celebrity portrait
    • opened Daguerrean Miniature Gallery in NYC, 1844
    • pictures of both celebrity and more common type displayed in opulent surroundings
      • everyone getting the same product
      • every man a king
    • distribution of portraits to the new picture papers
    • Lincoln: portrait made me president
  • M.B. Brady's new photographic gallery, corner of Broadway and Tenth Street, New York, 1861
  • Southwork & Hawes Southworth & Hawes American, about 1852 Daguerreotypes
  • Southworth & Hawes American, 1848 "The Greek Slave," by Hiram Powers Daguerreotype
  • Photographic representation becoming seen as the normal appearance of things
    • photographic rendering
      • detail
      • geometric perspective
    • scientific application
    • the travel picture
    • incorporation into western expeditions
    John Whipple, The Moon [1852]
  • Southworth & Hawes The Use of Ether for Anesthesia 1847
  • Platt Babbitt, Tourists viewing Niagara Falls from Prospect Park , ca. 1855
  • Attributed to Henry Hollister Canadian, Niagara Falls, Canada, 1860s Ambrotype
  • Unknown French, 1847 1853 Daguerreotype, hand-colored
  • Unknown American, 1860 Ambrotype
  • Picture factories: portraits for four bits
    • assembly-line production with task specialization
      • complete process from start to finish in under 15 minutes
    • sloppy
    • trading in erotic art
  • Daguerreotype Saloons: the spread to the countryside
    • norms of portraiture coming to the hinterland
  • Daguerreotype Saloons: the spread to the countryside
    • the post-mortem portrait
  • Charles Durheim Swiss, about 1852 Hand-colored daguerreotype
  • the decline of the daguerreotype [1855]
    • ferrotype: the first instant process
      • less than a minute total
      • itinerant street photographers
    • faster, easier, cheaper collodian process blending the advantages of both the daguerreotype and the calotype
      • allowing multiple prints from the same negative