The Positive Image

The Positive Image: Early Photographic Processes

Some of the earliest photographic processes produced positive images on polished copper, glass, and tin. Each image was unique– the film negative was many decades away when daguerreotypes, tintypes, and ambrotypes were all the rage. In this lecture demonstration artist Phil Nesmith gives an overview of this rich period in photographic history, as well as a discussion of the modern resurgence of interest in and use of 19th-century processes in contemporary art. While tintypes and other early photographic processes were thought by many to have died nearly a century ago, these media have had a renaissance in recent decades, including some of America’s most famous contemporary artists, from Chuck Close to Virginia artist Sally Mann. In addition to a lecture on historic processes and their modern applications, Nesmith will demonstrate the making of wet collodion tintypes, a magical process that sheds light both on the history of photography and on contemporary art.

This program has been organized by the VMFA Office of Statewide Partnerships, and is funded, in part, by the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund.
Available: July 2009 – June 2011

For information on booking this program please see this page.


~ by Phil Nesmith on March 22, 2010.

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