Week 8. History of Photography

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Meeting Details

Tuesday 19, 12:30

meet at the Wilson Centre for Photography Studies, 6 Akenside Road, Hampstead, London NW3 5BS, telephone 020 7813 2975

Hope Kingsley will be teaching

The train details are as follows:

leaving TBA am arriving London St. Pancras at just after TBApm

leaving London St. Pancras TBA and arriving roughly TBA at Leicester train station.

Preparation for this week In preparation for this week, please read and look at the readings provided and become familiar with the terms of print identification. This class is not so much about identifying them as thinking about how we understand historical information from the use of them. We will discuss this and other things at the Wilson Collection.


We know photography through its processes, but do we really know what those processes are and what role they have in history? This week Hope Kingsley will talk about the aesthetics of process with relation to the history of photography and history as told through photography.

Required Reading and Looking

Hope Kingsley has sent us a file on print processes and a bibliography for reference. If anyone wants to upload any parts of this bibliography, please do so here as well as on the bibliography page.

Further Reading

Notes on Photographs is a website devoted to the history and conservation of the photographic print.

Benson, Richard. The Printed Picture (New York: MOMA, 2008).

Eder,Josef. Edward Epstean transl., History of Photography (New York: Dover, reprint of the 4th edition, 1972), Chapters 74-95, pp. 536-675 (only in this edition). In these chapters he covers pretty much the whole range of photographic processes. Original German editions are available in Portland 1.24.

Lavédrine, Bertrand. Photographs of the Past: Process and Preservation. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2009.

Reilly, James. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints (Rochester, NY: Kodak Publications, 1986) Chapters 1&4. And here you can see his work on the Graphics Atlas.

Ware, Mike. Cyanotype: The History, Science and Art of Photographic Printing in Prussian blue, (London: Science Museum and NMPFT, 1999).

For artists using various alternative processes, see the exhibition catalogues:

Katy Barron and Anna Douglas eds., Alchemy: Twelve contemporary artists exploring the essence of photography, (London: Purdy Hicks, 2006)

Andreas Krase and Agnes Matthias eds., Wahr-Zeichen: Fotografie und Wissenschaft, (Dresden: Technische Sammlung Dresden, 2006)


The feedback is due by the Monday after the session is offered.

This material should be provided as a short response to the following three questions:

1. In one sentence for each, please note two or three main ideas from this session.


2. What concept(s) need more reinforcement?


3. What two or three aspects of this session did the group like/dislike and why?


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