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William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877) Nelson's Column under construction, Trafalgar Square, London, first week of April 1844 Salt print from a calotype negative 17.1 x 21.2 cm

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

Nelson's Column under construction, Trafalgar Square, London, April 1844

Salt print from a calotype negative

17.1 x 21.2 cm, corners clipped, on 18.6 x 22.5 cm paper

 

In a busy scene of urban building and civic pride, Talbot has recorded the column commemorating the hero of Trafalgar under construction. Its statue was then being sculpted by Edward Hodges Baily. There are some clues to dating this image. Sir Francis Chantrey's statue of George IV at the left had just been put in place on 24 February 1844. The first of the bronze reliefs would not be attached to the base until 1849. Yet the most precise way to date this image is also one of its most compelling visual aspects, the jumbled collection of posters and announcements decorating the hoardings. Talbot was in London from 31 March through 7 April meeting with Antoine Claudet and it is almost certain that he must have taken this photograph that week. Given Talbot's unusual framing in this photograph, perhaps it was not so much the rising monument that he was seeing but the broader implications of a new type of public area being introduced into London.

Talbot had this image in mind for his Pencil of Nature and "Nelson's pillar" appears in one of his lists of planned future plates.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948) "Lightning Fields 127", 2009 Gelatin silver print 58.8 x 47.0 cm framed to 85.3 x 72.0 x 3.8 cm Edition 3/25

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948)

"Lightning Fields 127," 2009

Gelatin silver print

58.8 x 47.0 cm framed to 85.3 x 72.0 x 3.8 cm

Edition 3/25

 

These dynamic camera-less photographs depict electrical charges and are influenced by Fox Talbot’s research into static electricity. The “lightning field” is formed by a spark from the charge of a Van de Graaff 400,000 volt generator. If the charge is powerful enough it creates the capillary effect of electric light dramatically captured in this gelatin silver print from a photogram.

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William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877) A Fruit Piece, 1845 Salt print, 1846, from a calotype negative 16.5 x 19.8 cm

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

A Fruit Piece, 1845

Salt print, 1846, from a calotype negative

16.5 x 19.8 cm on 18.4 x 22.4 cm paper

 

Plate XXIV in The Pencil of Nature, although this print was printed separately.

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Adam Fuss (American, born in England, b. 1961) Untitled "For Allegra", 2009 Daguerreotype photogram 25.4 x 20.3 cm

Adam Fuss (American, born in England, b. 1961)

Untitled "For Allegra," 2009

Daguerreotype photogram

25.4 x 20.3 cm

 

In Untitled “For Allegra,” 2009, Adam Fuss returns to the most basic infrastructure of photography: objects, light-sensitive materials and light. Fuss’s work is distinctive for its contemporary reinterpretation of photography’s earliest techniques. His work includes photograms of butterflies, water droplets, smoke, flowers, birds and babies. His images engage processes that take place in the natural world and are transfigured into greater metaphors. His image of a butterfly is remarkably both a photogram and a daguerreotype.

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Rev. Calvert Richard Jones (Welsh, 1802-1877) Two young boys with dog, 1850s Albumen print from a glass negative 10.0 x 12.2 cm

Rev. Calvert Richard Jones (Welsh, 1802-1877)

Two young boys with dog, 1850s

Albumen print from a glass negative

10.0 x 12.2 cm on 10.3 x 13.1 cm paper

 

 

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Gustave LE GRAY (French, 1820-1884) "L'escadre fran├žaise en rade de Cherbourg", 5 August 1858 Albumen print from a collodion negative 30.1 x 38.3 cm

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820-1884)

"L'escadre française en rade de Cherbourg," August 1858

Albumen print from a collodion negative

30.1 x 38.3 cm mounted on 43.0 x 62.3 cm paper

 

L’escadre française en rade de Cherbourg is a prime example of the seascape and naval views for which Gustave Le Gray was celebrated.  Here he applied the many lessons he had learned in the making of seascapes since 1856. Without recourse to combination negatives that marked his practice in other examples of the genre, the present view was recorded in a single large glass negative. The photograph documents the official visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the port of Cherbourg and its newest construction, the “Bassin Napoléon III,” a remarkable product of naval engineering that greatly expanded the port facilities to accommodate France’s modern fleet of battleships. On the invitation of Napoleon III, between August 5 and 8, the royal couple and their retinue viewed from the safety of their steam-powered yachts (HMY Victoria and Albert I and II, visible in the second row from the right) a demonstration of France’s modern fleet in several maneuvers. This view was apparently taken on the day of the Queen’s arrival, when French ships greeted the royal couple in formation. What was intended as a gesture of trust between the two nations, however, was received by Queen Victoria as a disconcerting display of military might. The photograph records the readiness of the fleet, in a controlled cluster of ships led by the flagship Bretagne at far left. Upon closer inspection, the ships aren’t the only element in formation. Behind the royal yachts is a fast three-mast French vessel, the rigging for which is packed with dozens of sailors standing together in formation, as if preparing to cheer and wave their hats in the air on signal. The photograph is at once a document of the political spectacle of the modern military, and a photographic spectacle of impressive size and clarity of view.

Inquire
Bertha E. Jaques (American, 1863-1941) "Ground Pine, Northern Michigan", 1905-1915 Cyanotype photogram 24.2 x 19.0 cm

Bertha E. Jaques (American, 1863-1941)

"Ground Pine, Northern Michigan," 1905-1915

Cyanotype photogram

24.2 x 19.0 cm

 

Bertha Jaques was a Chicago printmaker and founded the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1910. She was a member of the Wild Flower Preservation Society and used commercially available cyanotype paper to produce images of plants that recall Anna Atkins' pioneering works. Jaques made some cyanotypes as studies for her etchings, but a number of these photograms were exhibited as finished works of art at venues such as the Art Institute of Chicago.

Inquire
William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877) Nelson's Column under construction, Trafalgar Square, London, first week of April 1844 Salt print from a calotype negative 17.1 x 21.2 cm

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

Nelson's Column under construction, Trafalgar Square, London, April 1844

Salt print from a calotype negative

17.1 x 21.2 cm, corners clipped, on 18.6 x 22.5 cm paper

 

In a busy scene of urban building and civic pride, Talbot has recorded the column commemorating the hero of Trafalgar under construction. Its statue was then being sculpted by Edward Hodges Baily. There are some clues to dating this image. Sir Francis Chantrey's statue of George IV at the left had just been put in place on 24 February 1844. The first of the bronze reliefs would not be attached to the base until 1849. Yet the most precise way to date this image is also one of its most compelling visual aspects, the jumbled collection of posters and announcements decorating the hoardings. Talbot was in London from 31 March through 7 April meeting with Antoine Claudet and it is almost certain that he must have taken this photograph that week. Given Talbot's unusual framing in this photograph, perhaps it was not so much the rising monument that he was seeing but the broader implications of a new type of public area being introduced into London.

Talbot had this image in mind for his Pencil of Nature and "Nelson's pillar" appears in one of his lists of planned future plates.

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948) "Lightning Fields 127", 2009 Gelatin silver print 58.8 x 47.0 cm framed to 85.3 x 72.0 x 3.8 cm Edition 3/25

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948)

"Lightning Fields 127," 2009

Gelatin silver print

58.8 x 47.0 cm framed to 85.3 x 72.0 x 3.8 cm

Edition 3/25

 

These dynamic camera-less photographs depict electrical charges and are influenced by Fox Talbot’s research into static electricity. The “lightning field” is formed by a spark from the charge of a Van de Graaff 400,000 volt generator. If the charge is powerful enough it creates the capillary effect of electric light dramatically captured in this gelatin silver print from a photogram.

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877) A Fruit Piece, 1845 Salt print, 1846, from a calotype negative 16.5 x 19.8 cm

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

A Fruit Piece, 1845

Salt print, 1846, from a calotype negative

16.5 x 19.8 cm on 18.4 x 22.4 cm paper

 

Plate XXIV in The Pencil of Nature, although this print was printed separately.

Adam Fuss (American, born in England, b. 1961) Untitled "For Allegra", 2009 Daguerreotype photogram 25.4 x 20.3 cm

Adam Fuss (American, born in England, b. 1961)

Untitled "For Allegra," 2009

Daguerreotype photogram

25.4 x 20.3 cm

 

In Untitled “For Allegra,” 2009, Adam Fuss returns to the most basic infrastructure of photography: objects, light-sensitive materials and light. Fuss’s work is distinctive for its contemporary reinterpretation of photography’s earliest techniques. His work includes photograms of butterflies, water droplets, smoke, flowers, birds and babies. His images engage processes that take place in the natural world and are transfigured into greater metaphors. His image of a butterfly is remarkably both a photogram and a daguerreotype.

Rev. Calvert Richard Jones (Welsh, 1802-1877) Two young boys with dog, 1850s Albumen print from a glass negative 10.0 x 12.2 cm

Rev. Calvert Richard Jones (Welsh, 1802-1877)

Two young boys with dog, 1850s

Albumen print from a glass negative

10.0 x 12.2 cm on 10.3 x 13.1 cm paper

 

 

Gustave LE GRAY (French, 1820-1884) "L'escadre fran├žaise en rade de Cherbourg", 5 August 1858 Albumen print from a collodion negative 30.1 x 38.3 cm

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820-1884)

"L'escadre française en rade de Cherbourg," August 1858

Albumen print from a collodion negative

30.1 x 38.3 cm mounted on 43.0 x 62.3 cm paper

 

L’escadre française en rade de Cherbourg is a prime example of the seascape and naval views for which Gustave Le Gray was celebrated.  Here he applied the many lessons he had learned in the making of seascapes since 1856. Without recourse to combination negatives that marked his practice in other examples of the genre, the present view was recorded in a single large glass negative. The photograph documents the official visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the port of Cherbourg and its newest construction, the “Bassin Napoléon III,” a remarkable product of naval engineering that greatly expanded the port facilities to accommodate France’s modern fleet of battleships. On the invitation of Napoleon III, between August 5 and 8, the royal couple and their retinue viewed from the safety of their steam-powered yachts (HMY Victoria and Albert I and II, visible in the second row from the right) a demonstration of France’s modern fleet in several maneuvers. This view was apparently taken on the day of the Queen’s arrival, when French ships greeted the royal couple in formation. What was intended as a gesture of trust between the two nations, however, was received by Queen Victoria as a disconcerting display of military might. The photograph records the readiness of the fleet, in a controlled cluster of ships led by the flagship Bretagne at far left. Upon closer inspection, the ships aren’t the only element in formation. Behind the royal yachts is a fast three-mast French vessel, the rigging for which is packed with dozens of sailors standing together in formation, as if preparing to cheer and wave their hats in the air on signal. The photograph is at once a document of the political spectacle of the modern military, and a photographic spectacle of impressive size and clarity of view.

Bertha E. Jaques (American, 1863-1941) "Ground Pine, Northern Michigan", 1905-1915 Cyanotype photogram 24.2 x 19.0 cm

Bertha E. Jaques (American, 1863-1941)

"Ground Pine, Northern Michigan," 1905-1915

Cyanotype photogram

24.2 x 19.0 cm

 

Bertha Jaques was a Chicago printmaker and founded the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1910. She was a member of the Wild Flower Preservation Society and used commercially available cyanotype paper to produce images of plants that recall Anna Atkins' pioneering works. Jaques made some cyanotypes as studies for her etchings, but a number of these photograms were exhibited as finished works of art at venues such as the Art Institute of Chicago.

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