Art and Technology in Paper Photography

PAPER: THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHIC METHOD Artists and Photography The Directorial Mode From the beginning, paper and plate had vied for being the appropriate support for a photographic image. It was by a mere series of chances that the daguerreotype gained ascendancy over...

The Daguerrotype Revolution

THE DAGUERROTYPE AND PORTRAITURE Daguerreotypomania  “Readiness” for Photography, Part Two In 1989 the French photographer, Gisèle Freund wrote Photography and Society in which she attempted to explain the role of photography in mid-nineteenth century...

Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

WITH WERNER HERZOG  IN “THE CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS” Thirty thousand years ago.  This is when art began.  Chauvet Cave. This is where art began.  Southern France near the Pont d-arc formation.  This is where the first art was made.  This is the oldest and...

Hippolyte Bayard (1801-1887)

HIPPOLYTE  BAYARD (1801-1887) Another Inventor, Another Process The First Fake Photograph Among the many oddities of the history of the invention of photography is that not only was photography invented by so many people at the same time, but also that few of these...

Édouard Detaille, The End of a Tradition

The Panoramas: Rewriting History Representing history in France had always been fraught with difficulty for centuries. Not until the Third Republic (1870-1940) was it possible to report, write or make art without the threatening overhang of censorship, but, after the...

The Shock Doctrine (2008) by Naomi Klein

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM 2008 BY NAOMI KLEIN Naomi Klein is my hero.  She is beautiful and brilliant and can look at the sick world in which we are trying to exist, diagnose it, and give a prognosis for the future.  If you want to understand...

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) Part One

WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT (1800-1877) Another “Inventor of Photography,” Same Time, Different Place Deep in the heart of Wiltshire, England, Lacock Abbey was established first as a refugee and retreat for Augustine nuns by Ela, the Countess of Salisbury, in...

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851)

THE DAGUERREOTYPE Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) “I am burning with desire to see your experiments with nature,” Daguerre wrote to Niépce in 1828. The partnership of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and Jacques Daguerre was an unlikely one. Niépce was a...

James Higginson’s Willful Blindness (2012)

SEEING AS WILLFUL BLINDNESS A film by James Higginson Unlike all other art forms invented out of modern technology, film has remained stubbornly entrenched in its pre-industrial heritage. Even though the technology of “moving images” allowed for a wide range of...

The Invention of Photography: Niépce, Part Two

JOSEPH NICÉPHORE NIÉPCE (1765-1833) The First Photograph and Its Rediscovery Part Two The Niépce Brothers, Joseph and Claude, were remarkable inventors. Or to put it another way, in the Napoléonic Era, there was little interest in industrial invention or development....

The Invention of Photography: Niépce, Part One

JOSEPH NICÉPHORE NIÉPCE (1765-1833) The First Photograph Part One Although there was considerable early activity in England at the turn of the eighteenth century in the direction of the science of photography, the experiments conducted by Thomas Wedgwood and his...

The Invention of Photography: Readiness

“READINESS” FOR PHOTOGRAPHY Part One: Technological Advances It was a photographer who best summed up the circumstances surrounding the invention of photography. Gisèle Freund (1908-2000) wrote in Photography and Society (1980) that although all the...

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Part Three

JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME: History Painter Part Three The Artist and History Gérôme studied under the official juste milieu artist, Paul Delaroche (1797-1856), who knew how to please a crowd. He had a gift that Gérôme did not: Delaroche could move an audience with his spell...

The Betrayal of the American Dream

The Betrayal of the American Dream by Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele THE CLOSING of the COMMONS The New Enclosure Movement Essentially “the American Dream” has always been a middle class dream. Thanks to carefully targeted government policy, the...

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Part Two

JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME: History Painter Part Two The Artist and Gender In painting after painting, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) clearly demonstrated his discomfort with women.  Before his very profitable marriage to the daughter of Europe’s biggest art dealer, Gérôme lived...

“Drift” by Rachael Maddow

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (2012) Introduction The heart of the question of what Rachael Maddow calls Drift is how do we wage war in the twenty-first century?  What is the purpose of war in the contemporary era? And who fights these wars? Or to...

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Part One

JEAN-LÉON GÉRÔME: History Painter Part One Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824 – 1904) was on the wrong side of history.  Many people have been on the wrong side of history, and, like the segregationist Senator, Strom Thurmond, they deserve to stay there.  However, art history is...

“The History of White People”

THE DARK HISTORY OF “WHITE” Introduction The History of White People by Nell Painter We were told that the election of Barack Obama meant that we—America—had transcended into a beatific state called “post-racial.” We were proud of...

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, Part Four

IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION, AND MODERNITY Musée d’Orsay, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago September 2012-September 2013 Part Four: Fashion as Costume Often though of as an unsatisfactory attempt at a large scale painting by a...

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, Part Three

IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION, AND MODERNITY Musée d’Orsay, Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago September 2012-September 2013 Part Three: Fashion and Psychology Fashion is the masquerade that tells the truth–for the first time...

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.
Thank you.

Get in Touch!

1 + 5 =