Media Archive: Photography

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) "Lace," early 1840s, salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative, 8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

Carnegie Museum of Art presents exhibition of William Henry Fox Talbot Photographs

The largest Talbot show in years, will include 16 new acquisitions

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
November 18, 2017–February 11, 2018
Gallery One, Carnegie Museum of Art

Featuring more than 30 works by William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877) and his circle from its own collection and from important public and private lenders, CMOA presents the largest US exhibition of Talbot’s photography in the last 15 years. In addition, 16 of the photographs on view will be recent acquisitions or promised gifts to the museum.

A group of people sitting and reclining in the grass. Behind them, stone wall with ivy and shrubs

William Henry Fox Talbot, Rev. Calvert Richard Jones, “The Fruit Sellers,” before December 13, 1845, salted paper print from a calotype negative, H: 6 11/16 x W: 8 1/4 in. image, Gift of the William Talbott Hillman Foundation

A true “gentleman scientist” of the Victorian period, Talbot combined his knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and optics, with his interest in art, botany, and classics to invent the paper-based photography that dominated the field for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare. This represents the first time ever that any of these photographs will be on view in Pittsburgh.

Talbot’s first documented experiments from 1839 and 1840 consisted of “photogenic drawings,” what we now call photograms. Talbot would place an object directly on a piece of paper sensitized with silver salts and leave it to expose in the sun. The results are impressions of leaves, flowers, and pieces of lace that are beautiful compositionsthat have other potential uses. Talbot understood that these early photographs could produce a botanical drawing faster and more accurately than ever before, and could instantly and endlessly reproduce lace patterns to facilitate manufacturing during the boom of the Industrial Revolution. Two of CMOA’s recent acquisitions, Buckler Fern and Leaves and Flowers of a Plant were created during this time, and represent some of the first photographs on paper ever made.

In 1841, Talbot patented the “calotype” process, a direct precursor to the positive and negative in darkroom photography that persists today.  The calotype allowed for picture-making in low-light conditions and with shorter exposure times meaning that interiors and portraits were possible.  Talbot relished this expanded subject matter, making photographs around his Lacock Abbey estate of family and friends.  Eventually, he even brought his equipment abroad to make pictures in other parts of Britain and the European continent.

Talbot’s final innovations in photography entailed his incorporation of photographs into printed books.  The reproducibility of his calotypes—and his photoglyphic and photographic engravings which printed images in ink—represented an entirely new way of disseminating pictures. Contemporary photographers continue to grapple with capturing, fixing, and sharing an image in the digital era. As a result, Talbot’s work feels as relevant today as it did 175 years ago.

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography is organized by Dan Leers, Curator of Photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition will be accompanied by a beautiful, small-format book that serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot and his circle, featuring an introductory essay by curator Dan Leers and thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that early photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

Dan Leers, with contributions by Larry J. Schaaf
William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
10 x 8 3/8 in.; Hardcover; 96 pages; 50 illustrations
Retail price: $25
Published by Carnegie Museum of Art
Available October 2017 from D.A.P./Artbook and the CMOA Store

Please visit press.cmoa.org for a selection of high-resolution images from the exhibition.

Support
Support for the exhibition is generously provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) "Lace," early 1840s, salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative, 8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

CMOA Acquires Important Photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Exhibition, Publication coming in November 2017

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces the acquisition of five photographs from the dawn of the medium. These images were created by William Henry Fox Talbot, and join an exhibition of this pioneering inventor’s work, opening November 18.

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877)
Lace, early 1840s
salted paper print from a photogenic drawing negative
8 15/16 x 7 3/8 in. (22.7 x 18.7 cm) image; 9 x 7 7/16 in. (22.9 x 18.8 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.1

Talbot made many photographs of lace because its delicate, geometric patterns highlighted the potential of this new medium to faithfully reproduce complex designs. Though his interest here lies in the documentary possibilities of photography, Talbot also understood its potential to beautifully frame and describe lace’s intricate detail. Photographs like these would help revolutionize and industrialize the lace-making trade.

lace

Articles of China, 1844
salted paper print from a calotype negative
5 ½ x 7 1/8 in. (14.0 x 18.2 cm) image; 7 3/8 x 8 ¾ in. (18.7 x 22.2 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Purchased with funds provided by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 2017.2.2

The desire to order and structure our environment is a deep-seated human instinct. Talbot’s balanced, pleasingly composed arrangement speaks to this. He also recognized a new, evidentiary function of photography, “And should a thief afterwards purloin the treasures—if the mute testimony of the picture were to be produced against him in court—it would certainly be evidence of a novel kind.” Insurance claims were made eminently easier with Talbot’s invention.

 

Portrait of Venus, early 1840s
salt print from a calotype negative
3 7/8 × 3 in. (9.9 × 7.5 cm)
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.1

Marble bust of a woman, facing sideways from viewer. Her hair is swept up in a bun

A Barouche Parked in the North Courtyard of Lacock Abbey, April 1844
Salted paper print from a calotype negative
5 7/8 × 7 in. (15.2 × 17.9 cm) image; 6 × 7 1/8 in. (15.5 × 18.2 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.2

Bust of Patroclus, August 9, 1842
salt print from a calotype negative
5 1/8 × 5 in. (13.8 × 12.9 cm) image; 9 × 7 1/2 in. (23.1 × 19.1 cm) sheet
Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of William T. Hillman, 2017.30.3

 

Upcoming Exhibition

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
November 18, 2017–February 11, 2018
Gallery One, Carnegie Museum of Art

Featuring more than 30 works by William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800–1877) and his circle from its own collection and from important public and private lenders, CMOA presents the largest US exhibition of Talbot’s photography in the last 15 years. A true “gentleman scientist” of the Victorian period, Talbot combined his knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and optics, with his interest in art, botany, classics, and foreign languages to invent the paper-based photography that dominated the field for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare. This represents the first time ever that any will be on view in Pittsburgh.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition will be accompanied by a beautiful, small-format book that serves as a primer on the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, featuring an introductory essay by curator Dan Leers and thematic groupings elucidated by noted Talbot scholar Larry Schaaf. With its luminous reproductions of Talbot’s fragile works, this publication demonstrates that early photography required a form of magic-making and innovation that continues to inspire people today.

Dan Leers, with contributions by Larry J. Schaaf
William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography
10 x 8 3/8 in.; Hardcover; 96 pages; 50 illustrations
Retail price: $25
Published by Carnegie Museum of Art

Available October 2017 from D.A.P./Artbook and the CMOA Store

William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Please visit press.cmoa.org for a selection of high-resolution images from the exhibition.

Support
Support for the exhibition is generously provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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CMOA to launch new Bradford Young installation

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) announces REkOGNIZE, a new multichannel video work by artist and Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival). Part of the Hillman Photography Initiative’s LIGHTIME, the work will be installed in CMOA’s Scaife Galleries of contemporary art, opening June 16.

Still from Bradford Young, "REkOGNIZE," 2017, Three-channel video (color, sound), Courtesy of the Artist. REkOGNIZE is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Still from Bradford Young, “REkOGNIZE,” 2017, Three-channel video (color, sound), Courtesy of the Artist. “REkOGNIZE” is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

REkOGNIZE is a meditation on photography, memory, and movement. Young finds inspiration in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, a site of the early 20th-century Great Migration. During this time, millions of African Americans moved from the rural southern United States to cities in the north and west. The Hill District saw a flourishing of culture during these years and was a site of artistic development for luminaries such as August Wilson, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Errol Garner, and many others. REkOGNIZE takes its visual cues from the Pittsburgh landscape, especially the city’s tunnels, which serve not only as literal entry points into the city, but also as metaphors for this movement of people and culture.

The work is three-channel video featuring Young’s footage of the Hill District, shots of Pittsburgh’s tunnels, and a translation of several Teenie Harris photographs into matrices of metadata. This digital code is also the basis for the work’s musical score by jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. Young is a constant collaborator across artistic disciplines, working with Creative Time, artist Leslie Hewitt, and director Ava DuVernay, as well as musicians Common and Gingger Shankar, among others. For REkOGNIZE, Moran picks up on the patterns and visual rhythms found within the code, creating music that enters into conversation with Young’s imagery. Young and Moran’s interdisciplinary approach to Harris’s images asks us to reflect on the power of photographs from the past to inspire work today. In doing so, they blur the boundaries between still and moving image, analog and digital, and visual and auditory experiences.

Bradford Young

Bradford Young

For its June 16 debut, Young hosts a screening and discussion of Black America Again, a short film directed by Young featuring Common. The discussion places REkOGNIZE in the context of his larger practice, which shares a focus on community, memory, and ritual.

The work is part of LIGHTIME, a year of programming from the Hillman Photography Initiative. At its essence—and since its beginnings—photography measures light and time. The four artist projects unfolding in 2017 expand upon this notion, using it as a springboard to investigate contemporary social issues.

REkOGNIZE is commissioned by the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art. Support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

cmoa.org/lightime

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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HPI_pressroom_header

NIGHTIME Party Kicks off LIGHTIME Photography Programming

Contact:
Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org  | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Pittsburgh, PA…On September 9, 2016, a special event, NIGHTIME, celebrates the launch of LIGHTIME, a new year-long cycle of extraordinary programming from Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative. The party features the unveiling of a unique public photographic installation that measures and visualizes time itself, 9 hours of music, and art & photography activities throughout the museum.

NIGHTIME
September 9–10, 7 p.m.–4 a.m.
Carnegie Museum of Art
Tickets are available, $10–$25

NIGHTIME kicks off the Initiative’s LIGHTIME, where artists activate photography’s measurement of light and time to investigate contemporary social issues. We take our cues from theorist Roland Barthes, who observed that “cameras…were clocks for seeing.”

“For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.”

–Roland Barthes, from Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

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Charles "Teenie" Harris, "Two men, including police officer Sidney Wilson on right, assisting centenarian Duke Finch out of polling place," c. 1945-1950
black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Teenie Harris Photographs: Elections

Teenie Harris Photographs: Elections
August 13, 2016–December 5, 2016
Carnegie Museum of Art

Charles "Teenie" Harris, "Vice President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon greeting crowd from car, including Harold Irwin, Centre Avenue, Hill District," October 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles “Teenie” Harris, “Vice President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon greeting crowd from car, including Harold Irwin, Centre Avenue, Hill District,” October 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film, Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

Charles “Teenie” Harris’s work brought him into frequent contact with the political process. As a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, Teenie shot candidates and rallies, activists and polling places. He documented those organizing around the Voting Rights Act, which went into effect August 6, 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in the nation’s voting process.

Opening August 13, Teenie Harris Photographs: Elections brings together three eminent guest curators to reflect upon Harris’s work covering elections, looking toward the presidential elections this fall. They include Harold Hayes, former KDKA news reporter; Michael Keaton, actor and political activist; and Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, whose District 6 includes Downtown Pittsburgh, the Hill District, and parts of Oakland and the North Side.

“I’m honored to be part of the guest curator team for the Teenie Harris Photographs: Elections. As a teenager, I remember Teenie taking pictures for the Courier, covering the Frogs Club social events, and how he’d take that one shot and, with a flair, pop out that used flashbulb and throw it in his pocket. By the time I got to KDKA Teenie had retired, but still on shot events occasion. I was always in awe of his skill. In reviewing part of his vast collection, I’m even more of a fan.”
—Harold Hayes, former KDKA News anchor

“I grew up and got my start in Pittsburgh during a time when Teenie Harris was active, and he is one of my favorite photographers. What I find most impressive is the way he worked as an insider, documenting the communities around him, particularly the political struggles of African Americans during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Voting rights gains made during this time are under threat across the country, so I jumped at the opportunity to look at this critical issue through Teenie’s lens.”
—Michael Keaton, actor and activist

“I enjoy viewing Teenie Harris’s photos because they provide me with a lens into how great our community once was. They inspire me, as a City Councilman, to ensure that greatness is restored. On a more personal note, I have two of Teenie’s photos that he signed and gave to my grandfather hanging on the wall in my office. They serve as a constant reminder of the importance of my work.”
—R. Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Councilman

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh’s African American community from ca. 1935 to ca. 1975. His archive of over 70,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the black urban experience known today. Purchased by Carnegie Museum of Art in 2001, the Teenie Harris Archive was established to preserve Harris’s important photographic work for future generations. For more information, visit teenie.cmoa.org. You can also read essays inspired by the social, cultural, and political content of Harris’s photographs at blog.cmoa.org.

More images

 

Support

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Carnegie Museum of Art

Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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