History of Photography


History of Photography

A World History of Photography

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991

Photographers' Dictionary



Chapter 9



MAURICE TABARD (collection)
EDWARD WESTON (collection)







The New Vision: The Nude

The nude also appealed to photographers of the new vision. A quintessentially artistic theme, it lent itself to a variety of visual experiments in Europe, figuring in montages, solarizations, oblique and close-up views by Feininger, Hausmann, Resting, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, and Tabard (pi. no. 544), among others. The work of Frantisek Drtikol, a Czech, can be taken as typical of the artfulness with which the theme was handled; it was unusual, too, in that Pictorialist darkroom processes, such as pigment printing, were used for avant-garde ends,, creating mannered and stylized "art deco" arrangements typified by an untitled image (pi. no. 545) of 1927.

As a theme, the nude—male as well as female— inspired special interest among American photographers who were relieved to find the subject more acceptable in straight photography than it had been before. Besides Sticglitz, whose belief in the nude as a symbol of life-giving energy inspired his images of O'Keeffe, others who sought ways of imbuing this subject with vitality included Cunningham, Outerbridge, Sheeler, Strand, and Weston. A 1928 work by Cunningham (pi. no. 546) transforms a torso into a series of irregular triangles that are affecting because the geometrical shapes still intimate the softness of flesh, and evoke a delicately sensual feeling. Weston, according to companion Charis Wilson, found in the female nude image a "lifelong challenge"—an instrument to explore both the formal problems involved in the new vision and his own sexuality. Nude (pi. no. 547), 1926, transforms sentient flesh into stone hardness, suggesting that "the diing itself can be transmuted according to one's perceptions into something odier. While less common, photographs of the male nude or of both sexes together, were made by a small number of photographers, among them Lynes, whose study (pi. no. 548) turns reality into fantasy. Through his handling of the shadows that suggest the ambiguous nature of sexuality, Lynes found a means to give photographic form to Surrealist concepts. In view of the affinities between movements in graphic art and photographic expression during this period, it is not surprising to find the camera used in the late 1920s to explore Surrealist ideas and vocabulary. Montage and other darkroom techniques mentioned earlier provided an obvious means to express fantasy visions, but the desire to present the subconscious as an aspect of reality impelled straight photographers to fabricate, arrange, and illuminate objects and their settings in order to create synthetic realities. Manikins and dolls often were seen as metaphors of sexuality, as in the work of the Argentinian photogra-pher Horacio Coppola (pi. no. 549), or in the bizarre creations of the German artist Hans Bellmer, who made movable papier mache figures that he photographed in various postures and settings (pi. no. 550). A number of photographers, including Umbo (Otto Umbehrs), utilized commercial manikins as symbols of the real/unreal conundrum explored by Surrealists (pi. no. 551). Erwin Blumenfeld, born in Germany but active in fashion photography in Paris and later the United States, romanticized the Surrealist genre by draping the nude figure in wet muslin; the results (pi. no. 552) suggest classical sculpture given rapturous animation. As one of the few who successfully adapted Surrealism to fashion photography, his contribution will be discussed in the next chapter, along with others who made commercial use of the style. Still others, whose interest in enigmas, dreams, and fantasies did not begin until the late 1930s and '40s, will be treated in subsequent chapters.

544. MAURICE TABARD. Nude, 1929.
Gelatin silver print. New Orleans Museum of Art; Museum Purchase, 1977, Acquisition Fund Drive.

(see collection)

(French, 1897–1984)

At an early age, Maurice Tabard studied fabric design at his father's silk manufacturing plant in France. The family relocated to the United States for his father's work and Tabard studied photography at the New York Institute of Photography. He returned to France in the late 1920s and continued his experimentation with double exposures and solarization techniques, producing surrealist portraits, and still lifes. Tabard worked in the fashion, advertising and portrait photography industries from 1928-1938. Most of his work, including his entire negative archive, was lost during WWII. Tabard retired in 1965 and moved to Nice in 1980.

see also:
 Tabard Maurice

MAURICE TABARD. Photomontage
(Standing nude with superimposed face), 1929


545. FRANTISEK DRTIKOL. Untitled, 1927.
Gelatin silver or bromoil print. Private collection.

 (see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961) was a Czech photographer of international renown. He is especially known for his characteristically epic photographs, often nudes and portraits.
From 1907 to 1910 he had his own studio, until 1935 he operated an important portrait photostudio in Prague on the fourth floor of one of Prague's remarkable buildings, a Baroque corner house at 9 Vodickova, now demolished. Drikol made many portraits of very important people and nudes which show development from pictorialism and symbolism to modern composite pictures of the nude body with geometric decorations and thrown shadows, where it is possible to find a number of parallels with the avant-garde works of the period. There are reminiscent of Cubism and at the same time his nudes suggest the kind of movement that was characteristic of the futurism aesthetic. He began using paper cut-outs in a period he called "photopurism". These photographs resembled silhouettes of the human form. Later he gave up photography and concentrated on painting. After the studio was sold Drtikol focused mainly on painting, Buddhist religious and philosophical systems. In the final stage of his photographic work Drtikol created compositions of little carved figures, with elongated shapes, symbolically expressing various themes from Buddhism. In the 1920s and 1930s, he received significant awards at international photo salons. Drikol has published: "Le nus de Drikol" (1929), "Zena ve svetle"(Woman in the light)(1938). Sources: Anna Farova, "Frantisek Drtikol. Photograph des Art Deco", 1986. Vladimir Birgus, "Drtikol. Modernist Nudes", 1997. Vladimir Birgus and Jan Mlcoch, "Akt v Czech Photography", 2001. Alessandro Bertolotti, "Books of nudes", 2007.



546. IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM. Triangles, 1928.
Gelatin silver print.

IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM  (see collection)

547. EDWARD WESTON. Nude, 1926.
Gelatin silver print.

EDWARD WESTON  (see collection)

548. GEORGE PLATT LYNES. Arthur Lee's Model, 1940.
Gelatin silver print. Robert Miller Gallery, New York.

 (see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

George Platt Lynes (15 April 1907 – 6 December 1955) was an American fashion and commercial photographer.
Born in East Orange, New Jersey to Adelaide (Sparkman) and Joseph Russell Lynes he spent his childhood in New Jersey but attended the Berkshire School in Massachusetts. He was sent to Paris in 1925 with the idea of better preparing him for college. His life was forever changed by the circle of friends that he would meet there. Gertrude Stein, Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler and those that he met through them opened an entirely new world to the young artist.
He returned to the United States with the idea of a literary career and he even opened a bookstore in Englewood, New Jersey in 1927. He first became interested in photography not with the idea of a career, but to take photographs of his friends and displayed them in his bookstore.
Returning to France the next year in the company of Wescott and Wheeler, he traveled around Europe for the next several years, always with his camera at hand. He developed close friendships within a larger circle of artists including Jean Cocteau and Julien Levy the art dealer and critic. Levy would exhibit his photographs in his gallery in New York City in 1932 and Lynes would open his studio there that same year. He was soon receiving commissions from Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country and Vogue including a cover with perhaps the first supermodel, Lisa Fonssagrives.
In 1935 he was asked to document the principal dancers and productions of Lincoln Kirstein's and George Balanchine's newly founded American Ballet company (now the New York City Ballet).While he continued to shoot fashion photographs, getting accounts with such major clients as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue during the 1930s and 1940s he was losing interest and had started a series of photographs which interpreted characters and stories from Greek mythology.
By the mid-1940s he grew disillusioned with New York and left for Hollywood in 1946 where he took the post of Chief Photographer for the Vogue studios. He photographed Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Gloria Swanson and Orson Welles, from the film industry as well as others in the arts among them Aldous Huxley, Igor Stravinsky and Thomas Mann. While a success artistically it was a financial failure.
His friends helped him to move back to New York City in 1948. Other photographers, such as Richard Avedon, Edgar de Evia and Irving Penn, had taken his place in the fashion world. This combined with his disinterest in commercial work, meant he was never able to regain the successes he once had.
Focus on homoerotic imagery started to take over his photographic life. He had begun in the 1930s taking nudes of his circle of friends and performers, including a young Yul Brynner, but these had been known only to intimates for years. He began working with Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, as it is known today holds the largest collection of his male nudes. Twice he declared bankruptcy.
By May of 1955 he had been diagnosed terminally ill with lung cancer. He closed his studio. He destroyed much of his print and negative archives particularly his male nudes. After a final trip to Europe, Lynes returned to New York City where he died.

GEORGE PLATT LYNES. Nicholas Magallanes and Francisco Moncion in "Orpheus"


549. HORACIO COPPOLA. Grandmother's Doll, 1932.
Gelatin silver print. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; purchase.
Courtesy Sander Gallery. New York.

550. HANS BELLMER. Les Jeux de la Poupee (Doll's Games), plate VIII, 1936.
Gelatin silver print with applied color. Robert Miller Gallery, New York.

 (see collection)

(b Kattowitz, Germany [now Katowice, Poland], 13 March 1902; d Paris, 24 Feb 1975v)

German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he became interested in politics, reading the works of Marx and Lenin and joining in discussions with artists of the Dada Movement. He was especially close to George Grosz, who taught him drawing and perspective in 1924 and whose advice to be a savage critic of society led him to abandon his engineering studies in that year. Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began designing advertisements as a commercial artist and illustrated various Dada novels, such as Das Eisenbahnglück oder der Antifreud (1925) by Mynona, in a style influenced by Grosz.

see also: Hans Bellmer



551. UMBO (OTTO UMBEHR). Untitled (Three Mannikins), 1928.
Gelatin silver print. An Institute of Chicago; Julicn Levy Collection.

(OTTO UMBEHR)  (see collection)


Born Otto Umbehr in Dusseldorf, Umbo was a pioneering photojournalist also known for his compelling portraiture. Following studies in painting and design at the Bauhaus (1921-23), Umbo moved to Berlin where he undertook various jobs, including camera assistant to Walter Ruttmann on the documentary film Berlin, Die Sinfonie einer Grosstadt (Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, completed 1927). In 1926 he began a career as a professional photographer, opening a portrait studio with the assistance of Paul Citroën, a former Bauhaus colleague. He soon became known for his striking portraits produced using extreme closeups and dramatic lighting.
In 1928 Umbo joined Simon Guttmann's recently established Dephot (Deutsche Photodienst), the first cooperative photojournalist agency, managing the studio and contributing photographs until the agency was dissolved in 1933. During this time his work appeared in magazines such as the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, the Münchner Illustrierte Presse, Die Dame, and Die Koralle. He also experimented with multiple exposure, unusual camera angles, photomontage, collage, and x-ray film, and in 1929 took part in Film und Foto, the important international exhibition of avant-garde photography and film held in Stuttgart.
Throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, Umbo worked as a freelance photojournalist, traveling to North Africa and Italy on assignment. During World War II he served in the German army (1943-45), losing all his prints and negatives when his studio was destroyed. After the war Umbo moved to Hanover, where he continued freelance work. From 1957 until the early 1970s he also taught photography in Bad Pyrmont, Hildesheim, and Hanover. M.M.

UMBO (OTTO UMBEHR). Heimkehr, 1946


552. ERWIN BLUMENFELD. Wet Veil, Paris, 1937.
Gelatin silver print. Witkin Gallery', New York. Courtesy Marina Schinz, New York.

(see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) was a famous American photographer of German origin.
In the 1930s, he published collages mocking Adolf Hitler. In 1936, he emigrated to Paris. With the German occupation, he was interned in a concentration camp in 1940 because he was Jewish. In 1941, he could escape to the USA.
In the 1940s and 1950s he became famous for his fashion photography, working for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and also for artistic nude photography. In the 1960s, he worked on his autobiography which found no publisher because it was considered to be too ironic towards society, and was published only after his death.
Erwin Blumenfeld was a renowned photographer whose work is situated between 1930 and 1969. He was born in Berlin on 26 January 1897, moved to Holland late 1918, and started a professional career in photography in 1934. He moved to France in 1936 and came to the United States in 1941 where he became a US citizen in 1946. His more personal work is in black and white; his commercial work in fashion, much for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, is mostly in color. In both media he was a great innovator. In black and white he did all his work personally in the dark room. In color he drew on his extensive background in classical and modern painting. He married Lena Citroen in Holland in 1921 and had three children there: Lisette, Henry Alexander and Frank Yorick. He died in Rome on July 4th, 1969.



Until the 1930s, light graphics, montages, solarizations, and other darkroom manipulations appealed to few American photographers besides Man Ray (who in any case lived in Paris) and Francis Bruguicre, a former California member of the Photo-Secession who had gained renown as a New York theatrical photographer. Around 1926, Bruguiere began to work with multiple exposures and what he called "light abstractions" (pi. no. 553) made by illuminating and exposing cut paper shapes. At times these works transcend the technique of their manufacture, and the flowing abstract forms express a sense of drama and mystery. Following a move to England, Bruguiere continued to "create his own world," producing Surrealist photographs and abstract films, among them Light Rhythms.

After the Bauhaus was reincarnated in the Institute of Design in 1938, montage and camcraless photography came to the attention of a wider spectrum of Americans. Lotte Jacobi, a former Berlin portraitist resettled in New York. began to produce photogenics (pi. no. 554), the term she used to describe combinations of light graphics and straight imagery. Others who started to regard photography as a way of working with light rather than solely as representing objects included Carlotta Corpron, who embarked on a series of light graphics (pi. no. 555) in response to the teaching of Kepes, Arthur Siegel, whose tenure at the Institute of Design prompted several generations of students to investigate experimental photography, and Barbara Morgan. a former painter open to the full range of experimentalist ideas. In a work entitled Spring on Madison Square, 1938, (pi. no. 556) Morgan invoked both montage and camera-less imagery to express the visual and kinetic energy she discerned in New York City (see also her photographs of dancer Martha Graham, (no. 557).

Toward the end of the 1920s, the key concepts behind the new photography had become clearly articulated. A 1928 article entitled "Nicht Mehr lesen, Sehern" ("Forget Reading, See") acclaimed camera images as "the greatest of all contemporary physical, chemical, technological wonders," with the capacity to "be one of the most effective weapons against . . . the mechanization of spirit," a statement that in essence repeats the ideas expressed a decade earlier by Strand. The following year, this grand concept was embodied in both the exhibition Film Und Foto (Fifo) organized by the Deutschcs Werkbund at Stuttgart. Germany, and in the publication based on it by photographer Franz Roh and graphic designer Jan Tschichold entitled Foto AugelOeil et PhotolPkoto Eye. The exhibit, its dramatic poster depicting man and camera dominating the world (pi. no. 558), included photographs by Europeans and Americans, the latter, selected by Stcichen and Weston. Included were scientific works, publicity, advertising, and fashion photographs, collages, montages, light graphics, movie stills, and straight images made as personal expression.

This show (as well as others in various localities that both preceded and followed it) summed up the extraordinary vitality of photographic communication of the time and revealed avenues that have continued to invigorate the medium up until the present. It reflected an ardent belief that the fresh vision of reality that issued from the camera would, in common with other products of the machine, improve the quality of ordinary life and permit the creative control of technology. Curiously Fifo omitted photojournalism, a technological force that already had begun to exert a compelling {and not always beneficial) influence on the reading public's perception of events. Along with the development of advertising and publicity, the relationship of word and image in print journalism became increasingly significant factors and will be explored in the following chapter.

553. FRANCIS BRUGUIERE. Light Abstraction, 1920s.
Gelatin silver print. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

554. LOTTE JACOBI. Photogenic, c. 1940S-50S.
Gelatin silver print. The Lotte Jacobi Collection.

 (see collection)

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Lotte Johanna Alexandra Jacobi (August 17, 1896 – May 6, 1990) was a German photographer, who immigrated to the United States to escape Nazi Germany. Born in Thorn (Toruń) in Prussia (now in Poland), she spent parts of her life in Berlin (1925-1935), New York City (1935-1955), and New Hampshire (1955-1990). She photographed such people as Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Robert Frost, Marc Chagall, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alfred Stieglitz, J.D. Salinger, Paul Robeson, May Sarton, Pauline Koner, Bernice Abbott and Edward Steichen. After completing her formal studies (1925 – 1927), Jacobi entered the family photography business in 1927. During this same period (1926-27) she began her professional work as a photographer, and she also produced four films, the most important being Portrait of the Artist, a study of Josef Scharl. From October of 1932 to January of 1933, Lotte traveled to the Soviet Union, in particular to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, taking photographs of what she saw. She returned to Berlin in February 1933, one month after Hitler came to power. As persecution against Jews increased, Lotte left Germany with her son, arriving in September 1935 in New York City, where she opened a studio in Manhattan. In 1940, Lotte married Erich Reiss, a distinguished German publisher and writer, a marriage that lasted until his death in 1951. During this time, she continued portrait photography at her studio, while also embarking upon an experimental type of photographic work that artist Leo Katz later named photogenics. They refer to the abstract black-and-white images that she produced by moving torches and candles over light-sensitive paper. In 1955, Lotte left New York with her son and daughter-in-law and moved to Deering, New Hampshire, a move that changed her life. There she opened a new studio. Lotte Jacobi is best known for her photographic portraits, which act as a "chronicle of an era." The list of her subjects reads like a who's who of the 20th century: W. H. Auden, Martin Buber, Marc Chagall, W.E.B. Du Bois, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Käthe Kollwitz, Lotte Lenya, Peter Lorre, Thomas Mann, Max Planck, Eleanor Roosevelt, J.D. Salinger, Alfred Stieglitz, and Chaim Weizmann, to name but a few. Jacobi traveled around from assignment to assignment with her equipment bringing the studio to her models. She liked to wait until the models were most at ease before taking a photograph.

LOTTE JACOBI. Albert Einstein: The man behind the genius, 1938


555. CARLOTTA CORPRON. Mardi Cras. c. 1946.
Gelatin silver print. Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery, New York.

556. BARBARA MORGAN. Spring on Madison Square, 1938.
Gelatin silver print.

557. BARBARA MORGAN. Maitha Graham: Letter to the World (Kick), 1940.
Gelatin silver print.

558. Film und Foto International Exhibition, Stuttgart, Germany, 1929.
Poster. Kunstbibliothek mit Museum fur Architekcur, Modebild und Grafik-Design;
Staadiche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin.

Lazslo Moholy-Nagy
(see collection)

Lazslo Moholy-Nagy, a "Renaissance" figure of the technical era, was active in a spectrum of endeavors that included painting, photography, film, and industrial and graphic design. He ignored traditional distinctions between graphic and photographic expression, between art for self-expression and for utility, and between practice and theory to work creatively in all the styles and media of his choice.

As a writer and teacher, he explored many of the unconventional areas of visual activity that continue to engage artists—among them, abstract film, light shows, constructed environments, and mixed-media events.

Born in a provincial section of Hungary in 1895, Moholy-Nagy studied law while also participating in art and literary activities in his native land and in Vienna before and after his army service during World War I. He moved to Berlin in 1920, making contact with the Dadaists and soon becoming well known in avant-garde circles for his paintings, light graphics, and articles based on Constructivist theory. While he was serving as director of the metal workshop and later of the foundation course of the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy and his wife, Lucia Moholy (herself a photographer), worked together to explore the potentials of light for plastic expression. As "manipulators of light," they suggested that through the technological medium of photography artists in the industrial era could arrive at individualized nonmechanical expression.

After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, Moholy-Nagy worked on exhibitions, stage designs, and films in Berlin before being forced by events in Germany to emigrate to Amsterdam in 1935. A year later he moved to London, and in order to support himself took on commercial assignments in photography, including a commission to illustrate several books. In 1937, he was invited to head a reactivated Bauhaus being set up in the United States, which a year later was established as the School of Design (later Institute of Design) in Chicago. He died in that city in 1946.

Moholy-Nagy's photographic output spanned the entire range of ideas, processes, and techniques embraced by the concept of the "new vision," which he had helped to formulate. Included are views from above and below, close-ups, collages, montages, reflections, refractions, and cameraless images made by manipulating light through various devices. Moholy-Nagy embraced portraiture, landscape, the nude, architecture, the machine, organic form, and the urban street scene. His work does not fall exclusively within any one of the distinctive styles of the period, but one unifying thread is its extraordinary liveliness, reflective of the photographer's interest in actual life as well as in problems of form.

Moholy-Nagy's oft-quoted statement that "the illiterate of the future will be ignorant of camera and pen alike" stems from his understanding of the camera as a modern graphic tool —a device for capturing aspects of reality that could stand by themselves or be reworked into other visual statements. In addition to his book Malerei Fotqgrafie Film (Painting Photography Film), 1925, these concepts were embodied in numerous other publications, which include "Light—A Medium of Plastic Expression," published in the American magazine Broom in 1923, and Vision in Motion, which appeared posthumously in 1947. Though Moholy-Nagy has long been admired mainly as theorist and teacher, it is possible that in the nature his photographs themselves will be regarded as equally significant expressions of his ideas.

Lazslo Moholy-Nagy. Two nudes, 1925

Paul Strand
(see collection)

Paul Strand's debut in photography coincided with the first stirrings of modernism in the visual arts in America. Born in New York in 1890, he attended both the class and the club in photography taught by Hine at the Ethical Culture School in 1908. A visit to Stieglitz's 291 gallery arranged by Hine inspired Strand to explore the expressive possibilities of the medium, which until then he had considered a hobby. Although he was active for a brief period at the Camera Club of New York, whose darkrooms he continued to use for about 20 years, his ideas derived first from the circle around Stieglitz and then from the group that evolved around the Modern Gallery in 1915, including Shecler and Schamberg. Strand's work, which was exhibited at 291, the Modern Gallery, and the Camera Club, gained prizes at the Wanamaker Photography exhibitions and was featured in the last two issues of Camera Work. From about 1915 on, he explored the visual problems that were to become fundamental to the modernist aesthetic as it evolved in both Europe and the United States. During the 1920s he mainly photographed urban sites, continued with the machine forms (pi. no. 578) begun earlier, and turned his attention to nature, using 5x7 and 8 x 10 inch view cameras and making contact prints on platinum paper. In these works, acknowledged as seminal in the evolution of the New Objectivity, form and feeling are indivisible and intense. In addition, Strand's writings, beginning in 1917 with "Photography and the New God," set forth the necessity for the photographer to evolve an aesthetic based on the objective nature of reality and on the intrinsic capabilities of the large-format camera with sharp lens.

After service in the Army Medical Corps, where he was introduced to X-ray and other medical camera procedures, Strand collaborated with Sheeler on Manhatta, released as New York the Magnificent in 1921. Shortly afterward, he purchased an Akeley movie camera and began to work as a free-lance cinematographer, a career that he followed until the early 1930s when the industry for making news and short features was transferred from New York to the West Coast. Aware of the revolutionary social ideas being tested in Mexico through his visits to the Southwest, Strand sought the opportunity to make still photographs and to produce government-sponsored documentary films; Redes, or The Wave, released in 1934, depicted the economic problems confronting a fishing village near Yera Cruz. Following a futile attempt to assist the Russian director Sergei Eisenstein in the Soviet Union in 1935, Strand worked with Pare Lorentz on The Plough that Broke the Plains, following which he and other progressive filmmakers organized Frontier Films to produce a series of pro-labor and anti-Fascist movies. Their most ambitious production, Native Land, which evolved from a Congressional hearing into antilabor activities, was released in 1941 on the eve of the second World War, at which time its message was considered politically divisive.

Unable to finance filmmaking after World War II. Strand turned to the printed publication for a format that might integrate image and text in a matter akin to the cinema. Time in New England, a collaboration with Nancy Newhall, sought to evoke a sense of past and present through images of artifact and nature combined with quotations from the region's most lucid writers. Strand con-tinued with enterprises of this nature after he moved to Europe in 1950, eventually producing La France de profit (A Profile of France) with Claude Roy (1952), Un Paese (A Village) with Cesare Zavattini (1955), and Tir a' Mhurain with Basil Davidson (1962), among other works. At his death in 1976, he had been photographing for nearly three-quarters of a century, gradually finding his ideal of beauty and decorum in nature and the simple life (pi. no. 559).


559. PAUL STRAND. The Family, View II, Luzzara, Italy, 1953.
Gelatin silver print.

Edward Weston
(see collection)

From an accomplished commercial photographer of Pictorialist persuasion, Edward Weston developed into the quintessential American artist/photographer of his time. In Illinois in 1886, he opened a portrait studio in California in 1911, finding time also to exhibit at Pictorialist salons. After his definitive break with Pictorialism, seen in the 1922 Armco images (pi. no.584), Weston embarked on the life of an impecunious but free artist, singlemindedly devoted to creative endeavor. Convinced at this time that the photographer... can depart from the literal recording to whatever extent he chooses" as long as the methods remain "photographic," he controlled form and tone through choice of motif, exposure time, and the use of the ground-glass focusing screen of the large-format camera. This way of working, which he called pre-visualization, was a factor in Weston's exclusion of temporal and transient effects of light, atmosphere, and movement in order to concentrate on revealing the object in its "deepest moment of perception."

Following a four-year period in Mexico, during which he opened a portrait studio with Tina Modotti and became part of the revitalized Mexican artistic movement of the period, Weston returned to a simple existence in Carmel. California. In 1927, he began to photograph single objects —both organic forms and artifacts—removed from their ordinary contexts. In addition to the well-known nautilus shells (pi. no. 560) and green peppers (pi. no. 561), he arranged and illuminated a series of household implements whose shapes seemed intrinsicallv beautiful, and photographed them close-up with great precision in order to reveal "an essence of what lies before the... lens," thus creating an "image more real and comprehensible than the actual object." The nude was especially significant in Weston's work, representing, as it also did for Stieglitz, more than a convenient artistic theme. The cool and elegant forms of the more than one hundred nude studies Weston produced between 1918 and 1945 not only represent his search for formal perfection but also reflect the erotic and sexual enigmas with which he struggled for much of his life.

Freedom from financial strain, made possible by Guggenheim grants in 1937 and 1938—the first awarded to a photographer—enabled Weston to embark on a period of sustained work. In fusing the formal insights gained during the late 1920s with his intense feeling for the California landscape, Weston achieved the richest and most person-ally nuanced imagery of his career. A selection of these photographs appeared in California and the West, published in 1940, and ten years later in an elegantly printed portfolio, My Camera at Point Lobos. Starting in 1923 and continuing for 20 years, Weston kept a daily journal. Published in 1961, three years after his death, his Daybooks, edited by Nancy Newhall, detail the problems of daily existence and creative activity in the photographer's life. A unique document, it lays bare the inner resolve that impelled this photographer to transcend financial distress and emotional anxiety and create works that seem untouched by the mundane or temporal.


560. EDWARD WESTON. Shells, 1927.
Gelatin silver print. Witkin Gallery, New York.

561. EDWARD WESTON. Pepper, 1930.
Gelatin silver print. Witkirj Gallery, New York.


A Short Technical History: Part II


The unwieldy nature of wet collodion on glass led to continued efforts to find other supports of chemical sub-stances for negatives during the third quarter of the 19th century. Collodion dry plates, invented by French scientist Dr. J. M. Taupenot and manufactured in England in i860, were too slow in action to replace the wet plate. In the late 1870s, experiments by English physician Dr. Richard Leach Maddox to substitute a gelatin bromide plate for collodion and refinements made in 1873 by John Burgess and Richard Kennett, and in 1878 by Charles Harper Bennet, led to a practicable dry plate. These appeared on the market in 1878 and were soon being manufactured by firms in Europe and the United States, ushering in a new era in photography. Consisting initially of a glass support coated with a silver bromide emulsion on a specially prepared gelatin ground (produced either by "ripening" or "digestion"), the fragile glass was replaced by celluloid in 1883, after it had become possible to manufacture this material in standardized sheets of about .01 inch thickness.

A paper roll film (first conceived by British inventor Arthur James Melhuish in 1854—see below) was commercially produced by the Eastman Company in Rochester, New York, in 1888. At first, the gelatin emulsion had to be removed or "stripped" from the paper backing, transferred to glass, and then developed and printed, but with the substitution of transparent celluloid roll film in 1889, and the addition in 1895 of a paper backing that enabled the film to be loaded in daylight, roll film as it is known today came into being.

The improvement of the color sensitivity of black-and-white film began during the collodion era when the re-nowned German photochemist Hermann Wilhelm Vogel added dyes to silver bromide emulsions. This process, called optical sensitizing, in 1873 produced the first ortho-chromatic plates (sensitive to all but red and oversensitive to blue light) and it was applied to gelatin dry plates when they supplanted collodion. Experiments, notably by Adolphe Miethe of the German Agfa works in 1903, resulted in the development of panchromatic film sensitive to all colors but still requiring a yellow filter to cut down the sensitivity to all blue light.

Permanence and long tonal scale in printing papers were difficult problems to solve satisfactorily because of the many variables (such as atmospheric conditions, water quality, amount and thoroughness of washing) that characterized photographic printing procedures. In spite of its uneven performance, albumen paper continued to be manufactured until the end of the 19th century, but new papers were being developed to respond to the need for sharper definition and speed created by the increased use of camera images for records, documentation, and reproduction in newspapers and magazines. Two types of printing papers were produced: printing-out paper and developing-out paper. Gelatin-silver-chloride emulsion papers (marketed in the United States under the names Aristotype and Solio). which required no chemical development, became available in 1890, while developing-out papers coated with silver bromide emulsions became popular in the late 1880s even though this product had been introduced as early as 1873. Gelatin-silver-chloride paper for printing by gas light (known as Velox) also appeared around 1890. At the same time that these materials were manufactured to serve commercial needs, platinum paper, based on John Herschcl's discovery of the light sensitivity of chloride of platinum, was produced in England under the trade name Platino-type. This expensive material appealed to well-to-do amateurs and serious photographers who required a printing paper of permanence with a long tonal scale.

The standardization of papers went hand-in-hand with the automation of large-scale photographic printing. Improving on the steam-driven machines that had made it possible to expose, print, and fix carte-de-visite portraits and stereographs during the 1860s, the new machinery installed by large photographic firms such as Automatic Photographs of New York and Loescher and Petsch in Berlin was capable, for example, of exposing 245 cabinet-size pictures a minute and turning out 147,000 prints daily on the new fast-acting bromide paper.

During the first 30 years of photography, camera design was subject to continual experimentation. Instruments were made in large and small formats to accommodate plate sizes that ranged from mammoth to tiny postage size, while multiple lenses and septums were added to boxes to make cartes de visite (pi. no. 226) and stereographs (pi. no. 225). By the 1880s, camera design needed to expand further to accommodate new negative materials—the dry plate and celluloid film. The folding-bed view cameras, introduced in England in 1882 by camera designer George Hare became the prototype for similar instruments manufactured in other parts of Europe and the United States (pi. no. 562). Variations of the basic instrument incorporated the capacity to advance the rear element, change from horizontal to vertical format, and fold the front element down into the base. Some models were given sliding racks that enabled the bellows to be greatly extended. As improved by British designer Frederick H. Sanderson in 1895 (pi no. 563), the view camera became an instrument of great sensitivity and precision, provided the subject was immobile.

562. Hare Camera. On George Hare's camera of 1882, screwed rods (A) were used to secure the front panel (B), which could be moved toward die rear panel (c). When the lens was removed, the hinged baseboard (D) could be folded up.


563. Sanderson Camera. Frederick Sanderson used two slotted stays on either
side of the lens panel in his 1895 camera.
This allowed a considerable degree of vertical, horizontal, and swing movement
to be applied to the lens panel.



A serious effort to make possible fast exposure, control over focus, and large image size resulted in the development of the single-lens reflex camera. Based on the use of a mirror to redirect the light rays to a horizontal ground-glass focusing surface, an early model of this type was patented in 1861 by Thomas Sutton. The most influential design was that of the Graflex, introduced by Folmer and Schwing in 1898; it assumed its inimitable shape of cubic box with bellows extension and four-sided hood on top around 1900 (pi. no. 564). A mirror, usually inserted at a 45 degree angle to the axis of the lens focused the image onto a screen within the hood and dropped out of the way when the exposure was made. In the hand or on the tripod, reflex cameras (which came in a variety of sizes and shapes) were flexible enough to accommodate naturalists in the field, news and portrait photographers, and individuals looking for street subjects.

564. Graflex Camera. The No. IA Graflex camera of 1910 was a single-lens reflex camera for roll-films. It was fitted with the Graflex multispeed focal plane shutter.


Reputable equipment with which one could almost simultaneously view the scene, make the exposure, and advance the film in ordinary daylight did not become generallv available until the 1920s (see A Short Technical History, Part III), but long before then it was possible to capture some street action using small cameras with a single short-focus lens. Other than the 1886 Gray-Stirn Vest Camera (pi, no. 566), an instrument designed to be worn under a waistcoat and that took 1 3/4 inch diameter negatives, these instruments, made to look like books, binoculars, revolvers (pi. no. 565), and walking sticks (pi. no. 567), were little more than novelties. The dry-plate hand cameras that began to appear in the early 1880s were a different story; they became known as detective cameras because, though larger than the concealed cameras, they too were inconspicuous to operate and could capture spontaneous activity under certain conditions. An early, widely sold model was the Patent Detective Camera (pi. no. 569), invented by the American William Schmid in 1883, but the Kodak (pi. no. 568), announced in 1888 by The Eastman Company, was both easier to operate and revolutionan' in that it created a completely new system and a different constituency for photography.

This simple box, incorporating spools to hold roll film, a winding key to advance the film, and a string to open the shutter for the exposure, was an immediate success and prompted other manufacturers to design similar apparatus that would make use of the Kodak roll film. Actually, roll film attachments for plate cameras had been invented in 1854 by Mclhuish and Joseph Blakelcy Spencer, and in the following years Humbert de Molard and Camillc Silvy also designed such devices. In 1875 Leon Warnerke, a Russian emigre in London, patented a practicable holder that accommodated stripping film in 100 exposure lengths, but the film itself was not sensitive enough for the camera's capabilities. This was followed by a similar holder invented in 1884 by George Eastman and William H. Walker, which also had to be attached to a plate camera. Undoubtedly it was the simplicity of a camera with integral roll-film holder, the case of operation, and the freedom from the necessity of processing that attracted amateurs to the "smallest, lightest and simplest of all Detective cameras"—the Kodak. The Eastman Company, which from the start had been involved with both the manufacture and the processing, soon gave up the processing aspects. Like Lumiere, its counterpart in France, Eastman employed many women workers as it continued to provide photo-graphic supplies and develop new processes and equipment for a growing market.

565. Photo-Revolver de Poche. E. Enjalbert's Photo-Revolver de Poche of 1882 carried small plates (A) in a compartment (B) in the chamber (c). When a catch (D) was slid, a plate moved into the exposing position (E). When the chamber was rotated through 1800, the exposed plate was transferred to a second compartment (F). The chamber was turned again to its original position for the next exposure. This movement also set the rotary shutter (G), which was released by the trigger (H). The lens (1) was mounted in the barrel. The hammer (j) held and located the plate chamber (c).

566. Stim Secret Camera. The Carl P. and Rudolph Stirn Secret or Waistcoat camera
of 1886 was worn under a waistcoat, the lens (A) poking through a buttonhole.
The circular plate was turned and the shutter set when the pointer (B) was rotated.
Exposures were made by pulling on a string (c).



567. Walking-Stick Camera. Emile Kronke's walking-stick camera of 1902 took
spools of roll-film (A), carried in the handle. Storage space (B) for three
spare spools was provided.
A shutter release knob (c) was placed underneath the front of the handle,
(D) Lens panel, (E) Winding-on key.



568. Eastman's Kodak Camera of 1888. (1) Sectional view, (2) roll-holder as seen from above,
 (3) cutaway view, (4} external view. The camera had an integral roll-holder (A), in which George
Eastman's American Film (B) was first fed over a metering roller (c), the end of which carried
3 disc with an index mark visible through a window (D) on the top of the camera.
The film was then fed past the circular exposing aperture (E) and onto the take-up roller F),
which was turned by a key (G). The cylindrical shutter (H) was set by pulling a string (1).
The lens (j) was fitted within the shutter. (5) A new model, designated die No. 1 Kodak camera,
was introduced in 1889. It differed from the 1888 version in having a sector shutter (K);
the positions of the shutter release (L) and setting string (M) were also altered.
Both models had lens plugs (N) for protection; the plugs also permitted time exposures to be made.



569. Schmid Camera. In 1883, the first popular hand-held dry plate camera
was designed by William Schmid.

In the early years of photography, exposure usually was effected by removing and replacing the lens cap manually (pi no. 570) or by moving a simple plate that pivoted over the lens (pi no. 571). Although shuttets had at times been used earlier, with the coming of the more sensitive gelatin dry films they became a necessity. They could be purchased separately to be affixed in front of the camera lens. Commonly of the flap, drop, or sliding plate construction, they were activated either by a string or a pneumatic cylinder attached to a rubber bulb (pi. no. 572). In the late 1880s, sets of metal blades called diaphragm shutters were sometimes mounted within the lens barrel (pi no. 573), usually with settings of 1/100 to a full second. In about 1904, the compound shutter, designed for the Zeiss Company by Friedrich Deckel, introduced sets of blades totally enclosed within the camera that controlled both the size of the aperture and the length of time it remained open; after improvements it became standard on all better hand cameras (pi no. 574). The focal plane shutter, positioned in the camera behind the lens but in front of the plate or film, was derived from earlier roller-blind shutters that operated on the principle of a window shade. Various designs for this type were made during the 1870s and '80s, but the most famous, patented in 1888 by the German photographer Ottomar Anschutz for his instantaneous animal studies, made possible exposures at 1/1000 of a second (pi no. 575).

Improvements in glass manufacture in Jena, Germany, after 1880 made possible new designs in lenses. Besides the all-purpose rapid rectilinear lenses with which hand and view cameras initially were fitted, the German firms of Carl Zeiss and Carl Goerz began in the early 1890s to manufacture anastigmats—lenses that resolved distortion in both vertical and horizontal planes and made possible apertures up to f/4.5. The Dallmeyer firm in England and Bausch & Lomb in the United States also contributed new designs, but between 1890 and 1904 the German firms preempted the field by introducing the Zeiss Protar and Tessar and the Goerz Dagor lenses. While the wide-angle Globe lens, designed by the American Charles C. Harrison, had been used since 1860, the first telephoto lens was patented in 1891 by Thomas Rudolf Dallmeyer.

570. Lens Cap. Until the advent of the gelatin dry plate in the 1870s, most exposures were made by removing the lens cap and replacing it after a suitable interval of seconds—or minutes.

571. Sliding cap shutter. Some early lenses were fitted with sliding cap shutters.
This example was made by N. P. Lerebours and is a close copy of the shutter
on the Daguerre-Giroux camera of 1839.



572. Guerry's Flap Shutter. C. I. Guerry's flap shutter of 1883 had two pivoted flaps,
which were connected by a string-and-pulley system (A), set on the side.
As a pneumatic release (B) was pressed, the two flaps were raised to uncover
and cover the lens in turn. A screw-adjusted device (C), bearing on the string,
was used to van' the period of opening by altering the relationship between the two flaps.

573. Goerz Sector Shutter. In the improved Goerz sector shutter of 1904, designed by
Carl Paul Goerz, the functions of an iris diaphragm and a shutter were combined.
The apertures and speeds were set on dials (A). The shutter was cocked by a lever (B)
and released by a pneumatic cylinder (c). Slow speeds were provided by
a pneumatic delay cylinder (D).

574. Deckel's Compound Shutter, Fredrich Deckel's improved compound shutter
of 1911 had slow speeds provided by a pneumatic delay cylinder (A).
Speeds were set on a dial (B). This model had a cable release socket (c);
earlier models were pneumatically released. Deckel's Compur Shutter.
Deckel's compur shutter of 1912 was based on the Ilex design; (1) exterior view,
(2) sectional view. Slow speeds were provided by a train of gears (A),
controlled by a rocking pallet (B). A lever (c) was used to cock the shutter;
the speeds were set on a dial (D). The shutter was released by another lever (E).

575. Anschutz Focal Plane Shutter. Ottomar Anschiitz's focal plane shutter of 1888
was adjusted from the back of the camera. A catch (A) could be set in one of
several notches (B) on the lower edge of the upper blind (c). A cord linkage,
which was attached to the catch, adjusted the position of the lower blind (D),
setting die width of the gap and, thus, affecting the exposure time.

During the collodion era, exposure meters had not been necessary because wet plates were sensitized differently by different photographers, who determined the correct exposure time on the basis of experience. With the manufacture of standardized silver bromide plates in the late 1870s, methods of measuring the light reflected from an object and relating it to the sensitivity of the negative material became important. The first device to effectively measure and establish this relationship was a slide-rule -type exposure calculator designed and patented in 1888 by Charles Driffield and Ferdinand Hurter (pi. no. 576). Working in England as an engineer and a physical chemist respectively, in 1890 the two jointly published a significant work on sensitomctry, having devised the mathematical equations on which to base a table of exposures. Evidence of a consistent relationship between image brightness, exposure, and emulsion sensitivity was welcomed by most photographers even though this development prompted Peter Henry-Emerson to briefly reconsider his ideas about the potential of photography for artistic expression.

Measuring the light reflected from objects was done both with chemical meters—actinometers—that employed a strip of light-sensitive paper that darkened when exposed, and optical or visual devices. The latter, first made in France around 1887, consisted of numbered gradations seen through an eyepiece in which the last number visible gave the exposure time. Design changes on this kind of meter continued to be made until 1940, but none produced a reading as accurate as that produced by a photoelectric cell meter. Making use of the light-sensitive characteristics of selenium, discovered in the 1870s, the photoelectric meter was first marketed in 1932 (pi, no. 577), but until the 1940s it was too expensive to be widely used. In 1938, cameras themselves began to be manufactured with built-in light meters.

576. Hurter and Driffield Actinograph. The Actinograph, patented in 1888 by Ferdinand Hurter and Vero Charles Driffield, was a slide-rule form of exposure calculator. A rotary cylinder (A) was calibrated for a range of times of day and year; thirteen versions were available for different latitudes.

577. Weston Exposure Meter. In the Weston Universal 617 meter of 1932, the electric potential developed by two photoelectric cells was used to deflect the needle of a meter placed between them.


Developments in Color

From the earliest days of photography, the absence of color was almost universally deplored, with the result that daguerreotypes were tinted with dry pigments and calotypes were painted with watercolors. In the wake of a patent taken out by Richard Beard in 1842 for a coloring method, instructional manuals and specialized materials appeared on the market and remained popular throughout the collodion era. However, soon after the invention of the medium, efforts by scientists to determine the sensitivity of silver salts to the colors of the spectrum had engendered the hope that photography in color would soon be possible. In these experiments, by Herschel in 1840, by Edmond Becquerel in 1848, by Nicpec de Saint-Victor in the 1850s and Alphonse Poitevin in 1865, various chemicals were added to the silver compounds without conclusive results.

In 1851 a method of making daguerreotypes in color, supposedly achieved by American Levi L. Hill, also was found to be inconclusive although it is possible that Hill had stumbled upon a result that he was unable to duplicate. Positive images in color on glass were produced in 1891 by German physicist Gabriel Lippmann on the basis of the interference theory of light waves—the phenomenon one sees in oil slicks and soap bubbles—but while the results were said to be "an admirable reproduction of the colors of nature," the long exposures and difficulties in viewing the images prevented commercial exploitation.

Experimentation to achieve viable color materials was based on the researches into human vision carried out in England by Thomas Young in the early 1800s, which were later elaborated by Hermann von Helmholtz in Germany.

These researchers held that all colors in nature are combinations of three primary colors—red, blue, and green. The full range of spectral colors can be duplicated either by adding portions of the primaries together or by subtracting them by using filters of complementary colors. In 1861, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell produced a color photograph by superimposing three positive lantern slides of a striped tartan ribbon (plate no. 337); both the taking and the projection were effected through liquid filters. At about the same time in France, Louis Ducos du Hauron attempted to perform similar experiments; in 1869, he and Charles Cros, working independently, published proposals for color processes based on the addition of three primary colors to represent the entire spectrum. However, until the invention of panchromatic film in the early 20th century, the plates used in these experiments were not sensitive enough to all spectral hues to make these efforts truly successful.

In his 1869 publication, Les Couleurs en photographic (Photography in Color), Ducos du Hauron had proposed another method by which the additive theory might result in a color image. This comprised a screen ruled with fine lines in primary colors that, when properly blocked off by their complements, would yield all the hues in nature. In other words, the primaries were to be encompassed on one negative instead of three. Ducos tin Hauron did not actually experiment with this idea, but in 1894 John Joly in Dublin produced such a screen by ruling red, green, and blue aniline dyes on a gelatin-coated glass plate. When used in conjunction with an orthochromatic dry plate and a yellow filter, the result was a color image that was limited in accuracy by the lack of sensitivity of the plates then in use. A similar but improved process, patented in 1897 in Chicago, turned out to be too expensive, but Autochrome, a process invented in 1904 by the Lumiere brothers in Lyon, produced the first commercially feasible color material based on this idea.

An Autochrome consisted of a glass plate coated with minute granules of potato starch dyed in each of the three primary colors and dusted with a fine black powder to fill in the interstices that would have allowed light to pass through; the glass was then coated with a layer of silver bromide panchromatic emulsion. The result was a positive transparency whose improved color sensitivity and relative ease of processing were immediately successful in spite of the high cost, long exposures, and the fact that the final result had to be seen in a viewer. Until the 1930s, the only real competition for Autochrome was plates manufactured by the French firm of Louis Dufay from about 1908 and by the German Agfa Company beginning in 1916, for which the dyes were poured and rolled on rather than ruled or dusted. Despite these improvements, researches to find an alternative color process continued, since these materials all produced colors that were thought nor to be natural enough, the aniline dyes were unstable (a problem that continues to bedevil color photography), and the methods of obtaining prints from transparencies were exceedingly complicated.

Dueos du Hauron's theories also proved to be the wellspring of experiments with subtractive color processes, which involved starting with white light (in which all spectral colors are present) and removing or absorbing diose colors not in the subject to be photographed. When three separation negatives taken by orange, green, and violet light are printed as positives on dichromated-gelatin sheets of their complementary colors—cyan (blue green), magenta, yellow—-and placed in register, each color absorbs its own complement; together all three produce a full-color image that Ducos du Hauron called a heliochrome. The advantages of subtraction include the avoidance of filters in the making of exposures, thereby enabling more light to reach the plate (with a consequent shortening of exposure time), and greater convenience in the viewing. Neither lines nor granules are visible in the final result, and all the light is absorbed where the primaries overlap, so that the stock on which the images are printed remains unaffected; white paper stays white. Experiments based on this process required the design of equipment to make three color negatives (either one at a time or with multiple backs on the camera) and improved methods of superimposing the three complementary positives. In this endeavor, the contributions of Frederic E. Ives, who had invented a Kromskop camera and viewer in 1895 and produced a Tripak camera that eventually was marketed in 1914 as the Hicro Universal camera, were significant.

To produce color prints, photographers turned first to the carbon process. Following Ducos du Hauron's early heliochromes on tissues dyed magenta, cyan, and yellow, nearly all color printing revolved around gelatin and carbon materials, with the Pinatype process in France, the Ives-Hicro and carbro processes in the United States, and the Jos-Pe process in Germany the best known. None of these processes survived after the middle of the 20th century, when they were replaced by methods worked out during the 1930s and popularized commercially after the second World War. Ducos du Hauron produced a lithographic reproduction and later announced that his experiments were adaptable to three-color pigment printing on mechanical presses, using red, blue, and yellow ink. Additional impetus came from the discoveries by Hermann W. Vogel regarding increased sensitizing of photographic emulsions to the green and yellow portions of the spectrum.

Experiments with pigmented-ink printing from photographs reflected the great interest in using color images in advertising and periodicals, especially in the United States during the last two decades of the 19th century. Much of the research was carried out by Ives, who by 1885 had exhibited a process for photographing colors and then reproducing them photomechanically, albeit crudely, using a camera that exposed three negatives simultaneously and then line screens to make three relief printing plates, each of which would receive a different color ink relating to the original color of the image. A more accurate process was demonstrated in 1893 by William Kurtz, a commercial photographer in New York City, who had turned his attention to the problems of halftone printing in color. Using techniques similar to Ives's—three single-line halftone blocks—he reproduced a still-life camera image whose color quality was immediately recognized as authentic enough for use in advertising such items as flowers and fruits. Just before the turn of the century, magazines began to print both covers and advertisements using the color-engraving process developed by Kurtz and perfected by others. Whether produced by using three separate halftone color blocks or with black added as a fourth block (as later became common), color images made on glossy paper by the relief printing technique have been creditable since the turn of the century. Intaglio or gravure methods have not been amenable to multiple-plate color printing, in part because of the intrinsic nature of the process and in part due to the amount of handwork required.

Toward the end of the 19th century, photolithography also began to be used for color printing, with collotype producing some of the most delicately colored prints of the era. Throughout the 20th century, as offset printing has replaced relief printing as the preferred technology, it has employed the four-color block method of superimposing magenta, cyan, yellow, and black inks to produce a full-color image. Another discovery in this area involved screenless offset, in which a plate is prepared by graining it with peaks and valleys and random patterning. The tonal range of the print depends on how light exposes the peaks and depressions.

Photomechanical Processes

Photomechanical reproduction developed during the late 19th century in response to the growing demand for photographic reproductions for social documentation and, later, advertising. The possibility of reproducing photographs in printer's ink had occurred to those who had discovered how to make light-generated images. Indeed, as early as the 1820s, Claude and Joseph Nicephore Niepce, inspired in part by the recent invention of lithography, sought to transfer engraved images onto glass and metal plates through the action of light on asphaltum and then to process the plates so that they could be printed in ink on a press.

This aim was deflected by the death of Joseph Nicephore Niepce and by the subsequent discovery of the daguerreotype, but because the unique daguerreotype did not provide a negative image for replication, printing by mechanical means continued to be recognized as a goal. Alfred Donne and Hippolyte Fizeau in Paris and Joseph Berres in Vienna were among those who experimented successfully with methods of etching metal daguerreotype plates after the image had been brought out chemically so that they could be inked and printed on a press. A booklet on the process, issued by Berres in 1840 and illustrated with five such prints, is the first work entirely illustrated by photomechanical reproduction. In 1842, two plates reproduced by Fizeau's process were included in Noel Marie Paymal Lerebours's Excursions daguerriennes. Notwith-standing these successes, the process required considerable handwork, making it slow and costly,

Given that the contemporaneous discovery of photography by William Henry Fox Talbot in England produced a negative from which prints could be made on sensitized paper, the need for a mechanical means of reproducing photographs might have become less urgent. However, during the 1840s, the limited knowledge about the infant process could not prevent instability in light-generated images, while at the same time the making of paper prints proved to be time consuming. As a consequence, Talbot himself sought methods by which the photographic positive image could be transferred onto a metal block, engraved or etched, inked, and printed on a press.

In Talbot's time, the two traditional methods by which prints were made involved breaking areas of continuous tone into patterns of discrete lines or dots. In relief printing, the areas inked were higher than the other surfaces, which did not print. In intaglio printing, the ink was introduced into cuts below the plate surface, which was wiped clean of ink to create nonprinting areas. Those attempting to utilize the photographic image in relief and intaglio printing recognized that the main challenge was to translate the continuous tonalities rendered in the original print by the darkening of the silver salts into printed lines, dots, or other patterns that would fool the eye into reading the tonalities as continuous.

The simple step of sensitizing the surface of the printing block (wood, metal, glass, or stone) so that it received light-generated images directly (without the necessity of an interim transfer) was accomplished in 1839, but solving the more complex problem of transferring photography to steel engraving began in earnest only around 1850. Talbot's experimentation, which centered on the intaglio system, is considered the forerunner of photogravure. His first patent in this area involved using potassium dichromated gelatin (the light sensitivity of which had been demonstrated in 1839) on a steel plate, with platinum dichloride as an etchant. A significant aspect of the process was Talbot's recommendation that either "a piece of black gauze" in several thicknesses with the threads intersecting one another or a glass plate on which fine lines at regular intervals had been drawn or fine particles of powdered material dispersed be used to divide the continuous tonalities into discrete elements that could be etched. These suggestions foreshadowed the eventual use of line screens in the successful gravure and halftone processes perfected toward the end of the century, but in the meantime Talbot's initial techniques required laborious handwork by skilled engravers. A second patent, taken out in 1858, improved on the process—now called photoglyphic engraving—by introducing the use of aquatint resin to break up continuous-tone areas and a different procedure for etching the plate. Both improvements simplified the process so that the intervention of die engraver could be minimized.

Talbot was not alone in experimenting with photo-reproduction techniques during the 1850s. With the need for permanent and inexpensively reproduced photographic images becoming so pressing that prize money was offered for a practicable method of making permanent prints, experimentation increased on the Continent. Working in the same direction as Talbot, Claude Felix Abel Niepce de Saint-Victor achieved relatively good results with the use of light-sensitive asphaltum and aquatint techniques on steel plates. A strong attack on the problem was mounted by Paul Pretsch, a Viennese who undertook a systematic study of methods of applying photography to printing. Eventually settling in London, in 1854 he patented a process called photogalvanography. He used potassium dichromated gelatin to produce a mold of thicker and thinner parts, representing lighter and darker areas, which then could be clectrotyped and inked so that 300 to 400 impressions could be taken.

The photogravure process that became widely used toward the end of the 19th century, and continues in modified use today, is based on the method developed in 1879 by the Viennese printer Karl Klic. A copper plate dusted with resin—to which adhered a gelatin sheet that had been exposed to light in contact with a positive and developed—-was etched in ferric acid. The acid acted more quickly on the metal where the gelatin was thinnest—the dark areas—and more slowly where it was thick, thus producing varying tonalities. Because the resin particles on the plate break up the continuous tonalities into minute grains, this process also is known as grain gravure (not to be confused with sand-grain gravure, a short-lived, complicated technique that produced an image similar in appearance to a mezzotint).

The delicate values it could produce and the soft quality of the overall image made grain gravure the preferred method for photographers who wished to produce artistic images in quantity yet felt that photographic printing was too laborious to be practicable. Starting with Peter Henry Emerson, a number of Pictorialist photographers installed flat-bed printing presses and turned out their own photo-gravures, which they chose to call original prints instead of reproductions. The process called rotogravure had commercial rather than artistic potential. Based on earlier examples of using engraved cylinders to print textile designs, it was an intaglio method and employed a crossline screen as a means of dividing the tonalities and a rotating cylinder rather than a flat plate to print the images.

Lithography (invented in Bavaria toward the end of the 18th century) required working from a flat (piano-graphic) surface and made use of the fact that fatty ink and water repel each other; where the surface had been prepared to receive the ink, it adhered and was transferred to the printing paper. Because lithography involved the creation of continuous tonalities on a flat surface, it became the process in which a great deal of experimentation took place with methods of reproducing the camera image on stone, glass, and more recently on flat metal plates. Basic to both photolithography and collotype is the fact that when light-sensitive gelatin hardens it reticulates into a network of small areas, thus providing the discrete segments in which the tonal areas of the original photographic image could be divided. The two methods differ in that collotype involves direct printing from the gelatin, whereas photolithography involves transfer of the gelatin matrix to stone or a zinc plate; the latter requires thicker gelatin and consequently results in less reticulation and thus coarser reproduction quality.

In the mid-19th century, Louis Charles Barreswil, Louis Alphonse Davanne, the Lemercier firm, Lerebours, John Pouncy, and most important, Alphonse Louis Poitevin experimented with these materials and processes. Poitevin, the most capable of the group, received a patent in 1855 for a process that involved sensitizing a lithographic stone with a solution of albumen and potassium dichromate and exposing this surface in contact with a photographic negative. The albumen turned insoluble and reticulated in the darkest areas where the light had passed through. After the unhardened albumen in the areas untouched by light was washed away, the greasy ink would adhere to the stone only in the dark areas.

In 1868 Joseph Albert, the most notable of a group of experimenters, used gelatin-coated glass plates to produce prints (which he called Albertypcs) with excellent middle tones, in runs of more than 2,000 prints. The introduction of high-speed cylinder presses in 1873 made possible large editions of photolithographs, which in addition to Albertype went by names such as artotype, autogravure, heliotype, Lichtdruck, and phototypie. Because of the irregularity and fineness of the dot structure in collotype (the name used to embrace all these efforts), it became the technology of choice for reproducing drawings and paintings in books and art reproductions. Planographic printing methods remained essentially the same until the 1960s, when new methods of setting type provided the impetus for revising photolithographic procedures.

Walter B. Woodbury, working in England in 1866, perfected a process in which a gelatin relief, produced by exposing a dichromated gelatin sheet against a photographic negative, was imbedded in a lead mold, filled with a mixture of gelatin, and then transferred to paper under pressure. The fine definition and absence of grain made the Woodburytype (calle photoglyptie in France) the most authentic translation of photographic tonalities in reproduction. Though widely used in Europe during the 1870s, the process was difficult to control in large format; and the finished print had to be trimmed and mounted before being inserted into a book or periodical.

However inventive and successful were the processes noted above, none solved the pressing problem of inexpensively reproducing photographs in books and journals simultaneously with the printing of the text, which at the rime involved the use of raised metal type. Initially this problem had been solved by having engravers translate onto a wood or metal block the continuous tonal values of the photograph, using a code of dots or lines that more or less reproduced the information in the photograph. This block—which in order to speed up the process was sometimes sawed into sections to be cut by several crafts-men and then reassembled—could be printed with the type. However, the fact that this way of translating photographic tonalities was both time consuming and inexact, combined with the tendency of engravers to add or omit portions of the camera information, necessitated a continued search for better solutions.

The technology that made possible the perfection of a halftone plate that could be used to print photographic images along with texts emerged in the late 1870s. Known generally as zincography, it grew out of early tentative efforts in the 1850s by Charles Gillot and Charles Negre in France and by a number of printers working in Vienna, Canada, and England to produce photographic etchings in relief (rather than intaglio) on zinc plates. The most significant breakthrough came in 1877, when the Jaffe brothers, owners of a printing establishment in Vienna, turned back to Talbot's use of gauze to break up the solid tones in the photograph. This technique finally became practicable through experimentation by individuals working throughout the industrialized world. Most notable were Stephen Horgan, Frederic E. Ives, George Meisenbach, and Charles Petit, all of whom substituted a screen for the miller's gauze used by the Jaffes. The screen was created by ruling cither intersecting or parallel lines on two glass plates, which then were interposed (at an angle to each other) between the photographic negative and the dichromated gelatin layer, producing a printing matrix in which the tonalities were divided into dots. The closeness of the lines on the screen governed the size of the dots; the smaller they were, the more accurate the translation from photographic print to ink print.

The contributions of Ives, an American inventor, are considered to be among the most significant in perfecting this technology. In 1886, he recommended the use of two parallel-ruled screens, superimposed at right angles to each other, to be used in front of die photographic plate in the camera; the screens were further perfected in 1890 by the American printer Max Levy to give sharp, clear definition. In addition, Ives, using copper plates coated with dichromated glue solution, worked out a method of etching the plate with the halftone image to produce a relief matrix, the surface of which would receive the ink at the same time and in the same manner as the raised surface of the text type.

Not until the appearance in the early 1960s of type generated by photographic methods did relief or letterpress printing (the method just described) give way to offset printing. In this method, both text and illustrations are printed by an updated version of photolithography. The image information is transferred to the plate through a screen similar to that used in relief printing, and the inked matrix (affixed to a cylinder) is offset onto a rubber roller before being transferred to paper. Endeavors to enrich the quality of the offset image led to the perfection of duotone printing, which uses two different plates, each with a different exposure of the same image, with one plate reproducing detail in the light areas and the other, the darks; either identical or different colored inks can be used for the plates.

The Machine: Icons of the Industrial Ethos

This album presents a selection of images by eight leading American photographers who worked in the Modernist style in the 1920s and '30s. During this period, photography was hailed as the visual medium most in harmony with the conditions and culture of modern life. Factories, machine-tools, assembly lines, multistoried buildings, and mechanized vehicles (in short, the technology that has come to dominate existence in all industrialized societies) attracted photographers who believed that the camera was eminently suited to deal with their forms and textures. In the United States, where the industrial ethos was predominant, reverential attitudes toward machinery and its products were especially strong. Commissions from advertising agencies and publications that sought attractive images of consumer goods and industrial installations made it possible for photographers Edward Steichen and Ralph Steiner to photograph cutlery and typewriters, and for Charles Sheeler and Margaret Bourke-White to celebrate the visual possibilities of the Ford Motor plant and Fort Peck Dam. Others who may have been less convinced of the unalloyed benefits of industrialism—among them Imogen Cunningham, Paul Strand, Willard Van Dyke, and Edward Weston— were nonetheless also drawn to portray water towers, machine tools, ship funnels, and smoke stacks. Whatever the ideological positions of these photographers with regard to machinery, their images reveal a compelling respect for clarity, for clean crisp lines, and for precise geometrical volumes in the products of machine culture.

578. PAUL STRAND. Lathe No. 3, Akeley Shop, New York, 1923.
Gelatin silver print.

  (see collection)

579. EDWARD STEICHEN. Gorham Sterling Advertisement, 1930.
Published March 1, 1930, in Vogue. Gelatin silver print.

(see collection)

580. RALPH STEINER. Typewriter Keys,1921-22
Gelatin silver print. Private collection.

581. WILLARD VAN DYKE. Funnels, 1932.
Gelatin silver print.

582. MARGARET BOURKE- WHITE. Construction of Giant Pipes Which Will Be Used to Divert a Section
of the Missouri River During the Building of the Fort Peck Dam, Montana, 1936.
Gelatin silver print.

MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE (see collection)

583. IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM. Shredded Wheat Water Tower, 1928.
Gelatin silver print.Imogen Cunningham Trust, Berkeley, Cal.

IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM (see collection)

584. EDWARD WESTON. Armco Steel, Ohio, 1922.
Gelatin silver print.

EDWARD WESTON (see collection)

585. CHARLES SHEFLER. Industry, 1932.
(Montage, middle panel of a triptych). Gelatin silver print. Art Institute of Chicago;
Julien Levy Collection.

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