Color Photography in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century: Sciences, Technologies, Empires

The purpose of this working group is to propel a rising field of research; color photography in the 19th and early 20th century in order to reconfigure, expand, and problematize its role in the history of the discipline and in the historical contexts out of which it emerged. Presentations within this working group center on the material and epistemological connections between color technologies, empires, and visuality, as well as the interdisciplinary ties between photography, other media, and neighboring disciplines.

Please set your timezone at https://www.chstm.org/user

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Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

     Peppers Ghost. The Archive & Performance with Bronwyn Lace and Anna Seiderer
     How do we begin to look at an image collectively? What are the ways in which a visual archive – entrenched in the heavy histories of colonialism and rendered silent through an extractive approach to photography – can begin to speak? In provoking and surfacing the narratives embedded in these archives, is it music, performance, improvisation and collaboration that can become vital tools for re-reading images in a contemporary way? These are questions Lace and Seiderer continue to ask themselves in their ongoing collaboration as artists, activators and researchers across various spaces and platforms. Using experimental, performative and playful tools for exchange and dialogue between artists and thinkers whose practices are devoted to the material traces of history the two are interested in deepening their artistic and academic reflections on the issues of remediation, analysis and reuse of filmic materials produced in controversial and complex contexts.
     
    Within this process Lace and Seiderer have been invited to engage with a collection of photographs from the Musée départemental Albert-Kahn in Paris. The photographs, which are autochromes – the first photographic process that allowed for the reproduction of colour – were made in Dahomey (now Benin) in 1930 and are part of a larger project, the Archives of the Planet, funded by French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn (1860-1940). Lace and Seiderer will speak about how the projection of digital versions of these autochromes into a Pepper’s Ghost, a 19th- century theatrical illusion mechanism that makes use of a half-silvered mirror, projection and live performance – became a hugely productive tool for engaging with – through music, dance, drawing, live narration and more – the photographs, that might have remained otherwise silent and inactive in the archive.
     
    The two will share the way in which free spirited, open and collective responses to images through myriad sounds, gestures, and materials can become tools for layering, agitating, rescripting and expanding upon the people, places, landscapes, rituals and knowledge systems represented in the images and films. In engaging the archive in an active, collective, and interdisciplinary manner, new possibilities and tactics are able to emerge. Collapsing and unfolding time through performance becomes a means of destabilising the authority of an image. De-objectifying and dehumanising those present in the image. The act of embracing the incidental and the fragmentary becomes a way of working around the gaps and mistranslations in the historical narratives that accompany these images, pursuing instead the emergent material traces surfaced through the body, the voice, the ensemble. The introduction of language – be it linguistic, musical, or visual – can allow one to give a voice to a silenced image, while the use of physical performance and gesture can challenge, animate and expand upon a frozen or recreated moment.
     
    Bronwyn Lace is a visual and performance artist. Site specificity and responsiveness are central to her practice. Lace’s focus is on the collaborative relationships between art and other fields, including physics, history, museology, philosophy and literature.
    In 2016 Lace joined William Kentridge in the founding and animating of the Centre for the Less Good Idea in Johannesburg, South Africa, today Lace is the Centre’s steering force and its international liaison arm. In 2020 Lace co-founded The Zone: a collective that calls for the development of an entirely novel transdisciplinary and deliberative approach to inquiry and curation across the arts and sciences and beyond based in Vienna, Austria. Lace lives and works between Johannesburg and Vienna.
     
    Anna Seiderer is senior lecturer at the Department of Arts at University of Paris 8/Vincennes and researcher at the laboratory Arts of Images and contemporary arts [AIAC/EPHA]. She’s member of the editorial board of the journal Slaveries & Post~Slaveries. She has just
    published Traces du dé/colonial dans les collections de musées, avec Margareta von Oswald, Félicity Bodenstein et Damiana Otoiu (eds.), Horizon d’attente, Paris (2024) and curated Moving archives at Villa Medici in the frame of the short residency of Academy of Traces. Together
    with Bronwyn Lace, she’s running the seminar Arts|Archives|Performances, questioning the performativity of colonial film and photographic archives.
     
    Reading links
    https://lessgoodidea.com/thinking-in-2020-2024#/thinking-in-archives-2022/
    https://lessgoodidea.com/how#/may-2023-how-the-peppers-ghost/
    https://journals.openedition.org/slaveries/801

     


  • Tuesday, August 20, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    TBA



Past Meetings

  • June 18, 2024

    Evolution of Conservation Approaches for Autochromes: Insights from Clara von Waldthausen and Luisa Casella
    Autochromes present unique challenges due to the specific characteristics of their material composition. Over time, few conservators and conservation scientists have dedicated efforts to understand and address these challenges, resulting in a nuanced evolution of conservation approaches. This discussion explores that research, focusing on the contributions of Clara von Waldthausen and Luisa Casella within this landscape.
    Historically, conservation efforts for autochromes targeted issues like rapid light fading and delamination of the image layer. Common practices were limited to replacing cover glasses and rebinding damaged plates. Key figures such as Bertrand Lavédrine, Jean-Paul Gandolfo, and Peter Krause played pivotal roles by conducting historical research and characterizing materials and deterioration mechanisms. Lavédrine's 1991 study on autochrome dyes underscored their low light stability, influencing widely adopted guidelines against their display.
    Building on this foundation, Clara and Luisa addressed practical concerns still faced by conservators. Starting in 2001, Clara collaborated with Bertrand Lavédrine to propose an effective consolidation method using solvent vapors, a sea-change moment in the treatment of these objects. In 2007, marking the autochrome's centennial, Luisa explored low-oxygen display methods to enable their safe exhibition. Although both Clara and Luisa’s research is over a decade ago, they remain the latest advances in conservation approaches to these objects.
    This presentation will review Clara and Luisa’s research results, which exemplify innovative approaches in navigating the delicate balance between preservation and intervention strategies for these historical artifacts.
     
    Clara C. von Waldthausen (she/her) holds a Master of Arts in Photograph Conservation from the University of Amsterdam.  She is lecturer in Photograph Conservation at the University of Amsterdam where she established the program in 2015. Clara also works in private practice at her Foto Restauratie Atelier VOF. There she works with museums and archives, giving advice, teaching workshops and performing condition surveys and conservation treatments. (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
     
    Luisa Casella (she/ her) trained in Art Conservation at the Instituto Politécnico de Tomar in Portugal. She was an Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation Fellow at George Eastman House/ Image Permanence Institute, and a Research Scholar in Photograph Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has held photograph conservator positions at Luis Pavão, Lda., Harry Ransom Center, and West Lake Conservators. (Ithaca, New York, USA).
     


  • May 21, 2024

    Caring for early chromogenic film: a methodological approach to understand its use and significance through Portuguese collections by Lénia Oliveira Fernandes
    The history of colour photography shifted in the 1930s as the industry began researching the manufacture and use of chromogenic dyes. Transparencies on plastic film with this type of colourants yielded direct positive images, simplifying the process of obtaining, viewing, and reproducing images in full colour. A dynamic visual communication tool, colour slide film was distributed and adopted in many contexts. Over the years, and as other technologies took over, slide film started to make its way into numerous private and public collections worldwide.
    Although an estimated 6 million colour slides became part of several Portuguese cultural institutions, little is known about their relationship with the global photographic industry. Collection surveys are taking place to learn more about these objects’ sociocultural context and material characteristics. To this point, it has been possible to ascertain that their use became more common after the 1950s, especially by professional photographers. Specific issues arose across institutions, which further motivate in-depth investigation into their characterization and preservation. The study of colour slide film is being complemented by documenting memories related to their use and attributed values, on both national and international levels.
    This presentation will explore the transition of colour photography into chromogenic processes, focusing on early slide film (1930s-1950s) and the challenges presented by these materials. The main focus will be on objects found in Portuguese institutions, studied in the scope of the ongoing PhD project “Chromogenic film: Characterization, conservation and appreciation of case-studies in Portuguese collections” (ref. 2022.13036.BDANA). 
     
    -------
    Lénia Oliveira Fernandes is a PhD student at NOVA University Lisbon that is researching colour slide film in Portuguese collections, financed by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia). She is a photograph conservator whose professional experience is connected to the following institutions: Rijksmuseum, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft - Berlin, Arquivo e Biblioteca da Madeira, and Image Permanence Institute. She has been a volunteer in several cultural heritage associations, including APOYOnline – Association for Heritage Preservation of the Americas.
    Buzit-Tragni, Claire, Corinne Dune, Lene Grinde, and Phillipa Morrison. 2005. “Coatings on Kodachrome and Ektachrome Films.” In Coatings on Photographs: Materials, Techniques, and Conservation, edited by Constance McCabe, 168–79. Washington, D.C.: American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Photographic Materials Group.
    Mervis, Stanley H., and Vivian K. Walworth. 2004. “Color Photography 5-8.” In Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, edited by Jacqueline I. Kroschwitz and Arza Seidel, 5th ed., 19:231–72. Hoboken (NJ): Wiley-Interscience.
    Pénichon, Sylvie. 2013. “Dye Coupling (or Chromogenic) Processes.” In Twentieth-Century Color Photographs: Identification and Care, 160–205. Los Angeles (CA): Getty Publications.
    Shanebrook, Robert L. 2016. Making Kodak Film: The Illustrated Story of State-of-the Art Photographic Film Manufacturing. Expanded second edition. Rochester (NY): Robert L. Shanebrook.
    Vernallis, Kayley. 1999. “The Loss of Meaning in Faded Color Photographs.” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 38 (3): 459–76.
    Vicente, Filipa Lowndes. 2018. “A obra fotográfica de Helena Corrêa de Barros acordou.” News. PÚBLICO. December 2, 2018. https://www.publico.pt/2018/12/02/culturaipsilon/noticia/obra-adormecida-helena-correa-barros-acordou-1853110.
    Wilhelm, Henry. 1993. The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures. 1st edition. Grinnell (IA): Preservation Publishing Company.


  • April 16, 2024

    "Unidentified color positives in Slovak collections - Research and challenges" by Kitti Baráthová   
    The main purpose of the presentation is to introduce my doctoral research on different color positive processes on transparent supports regarding Slovak collections. The focus is on additive and subtractive color techniques on various bases, such as glass, cellulose film sheets or film roll. The urgency of this topic lies mainly in the fact that Slovak collections do not have identified and correctly categorised these valuable pieces in their depositories, which can lead to sudden deterioration under wrong storage conditions. Extensive research on this topic is constantly carried out in the world, but publications of international literature are mostly in English and only limited information is accessible in Slovakia, which is not widely available for all. The lack of professional literature and higher education of museum staff are few of the problems I am facing. As a conservator I realised that revision of the collections is necessary, because proper identification is the first step of preventive care, appropriate storage conditions and conservation of these rare color positives is extremely important for their future preservation.
     
    Target audience: Conservators/restorators, archivists, curators, museum studies
     
     
    Mgr. art. Kitti Baráthová is a photograph conservator based in Slovakia. She is a  Department of Restoration and Conservation graduate at the Academy of Fine Arts and  Design (AFAD) in Bratislava who specialises in paper and photograph conservation. Since  2019 she has assisted at teaching at the Department of Restoration at AFAD in the  Photograph Conservation Studio, lecturing courses such as Historical Photographic  Techniques - Theory and Practice. In 2022, she started her PhD studies under the  supervision of Associate Professor Mgr. art. Janka Blaško Križanová ArtD. Her research  focuses mainly on color photographs on transparent supports. As a PhD student and a  private conservator, she actively participates in conferences and workshops and  collaborates with institutions on national and international projects. She attended  workshops such as the Twentieth-century Photographs - Identification and Care with  Sylvie Pénichon (2019, 2022), the Colour Photo & Film Conference in Florence (2022), the  Conservation Science, Technology and Industry conference in Bratislava (2023) and the  ICOM-CC Triennial Conference in Valencia (2023). Since 2019, Kitti Baráthová and Janka  B. Križanová have been working closely with Albertina Museum Wien (Austria) on an  ongoing international collaboration Daguerrotype Project, where they survey, conserve,  and preserve the vast daguerrotype collection of the museum. In November 2023, they  hosted a course within the DITAH Project Autumn School of Photograph Conservation in  St. Florian Abbey (Austria) with the European Research Centre for Book and Paper  Conservation-Restoration. Her abstract got accepted to the 2024 AIC-Annual Meeting in  Salt Lake City, where she will be also presenting her doctoral research within the  Photographic Materials session during May 2024. 

    Literature/recommended readings:
    • PÉNICHON, Sylvie: Twentieth-Century Color Photographs. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • WILHELM, Henry: The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs. Preservation Publishing Company, Iowa, 1993.
    • ROHRBACH, John: Color! American Photography Transformed. Amon Carter Museum, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2013.
    • LAVÉDRINE, Bertrand – GANDOLFO, Jean-Paul: The Lumiére Autochrome. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • LAVÉDRINE, Bertrand: A Guide to the Preventive Conservation of Photographs Collections. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2003.
    • NORRIS, Debra Hess – GUTIERREZ, Jennifer Jae: Issues in the Conservation of Photographs. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • HIRSCH, Robert; ERF, Greg: Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels. Elsevier Focal Press, 2011.
    • FLUECKIGER, Barbara – HIELSCHLER, Eva – WIETLISBACH, Nadine: Color Mania, The Material of Color in Photography and Film, Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2020.


  • March 19, 2024

    The International Reach of Lippmann Photography
    Lippmann photography aka interferential color photography generates direct positives on glass that are dazzling in brilliance and archival stability but which cannot be transferred unto paper. This exciting technical genesis meant, however, that opportunities for spectators, scientists, and photography aficionados to connect with Lippmann photography hinged on the physical photograph and on the use of projection devices, capable of megascopic projection, and were thus scarce! Also, lithographs and engravings failed to transmit its unique shimmering colors and its “jewel-like” quality. As a result, examining the international reach of Lippmann photography challenges historical studies that focus on the medium’s „circulation and mobility” through print culture, simply because printing a Lippmann plate was a dream, not an option.
    This presentation addresses one dreamer’s attempt to “print the unprintable”; German engineer Hans Lehmann whose “one hit wonder” Lippmann print has so far received scant scholarly interest. My talk also investigates how, despite the lack of Lippmann prints, knowledge about the process circulated beyond Paris (where Gabriel Lippmann’s lab was located) through other forms of disclosure. Mapping how Lippmann photography reached Sweden, Argentina, and Russia etc. illuminates the international scholarly networks Lippmann was part of as well as the reception (both aesthetic and scientific) of his work.
     
     
    Target Audience: Historians of physics, historians of science, French Studies, Global History
     
    Dr. Hanin Hannouch (she/her) is Curator of analog and digital media at the Weltmuseum Wien where she is oversees the photography, film and sound collections and vice-president of the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh).
    She is the editor of the first volume on interferential color photography "Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums" (Amsterdam University Press, 2022), PhotoResearcher’s special issue „Three-Color Photography around 1900: Technologies, Expeditions, Empires“ (vol.37, 2022), and the open-access journal Cinergie’s special issue titled “Destabilizing Histories: (Re-)appropriation in Photography and Cinema” (2020).
    She was postdoctoral researcher at the Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut where she investigated the colonial and imperial entanglements of color photography. She earned her PhD summa cum laude from IMT Lucca, Scuola Alti Studi (2017) with a thesis about Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein as art historian. She completed the international Masters in art history and museology (IMKM) at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2014). She has also earned a previous Masters (2012) and a Bachelors in European art history, focusing on art in the 20th century, both from Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon. She is currently writing her monograph titled “Color Photography in Imperial Germany”.
     
    Recommended Readings: Please visit the ressource section in this group for all things Lippmann!
     
     
     


  • February 20, 2024

    Understanding colors of Dufaycolor
    Jan Hubička

    Dufaycolor was an additive process of color photography introduced in 1932 for motion film and in 1935 for still photography (the same year as Kodachrome). It was the most advanced color screen process, but is under-appreciated today because the dyes in their emulsion tend to fade. In a previous talk I discussed the possibility of digital color reconstruction based on high resolution scans of original transparencies (ideally including an infrared channel) which makes it possible to reproduce the original colors.

    In order to make the color reconstruction historically authentic, it is necessary to understand details of the process. I will discuss the historical method of printing the Dufaycolor color screen (reseau) and the properties of dyes used to produce it.  Since published data are incomplete, imprecise, and often contradicting each other, I implemented a full digital simulator of the process which makes it possible to turn the spectrum of light seen by the camera into the expected response of Dufaycolor film. I discuss lessons learned from the experiment and how that improves our understanding of the accuracy of color recordings.

    There are three main goals of our project:
     1) We would like to find practical methods of digitizing early color photographs which faithfully and completely reproduce the physical object as it is today.
     2) We would like to digitally restore the colors to their appearance at the time of original processing.
     3) We would like to adapt modern algorithms for processing RAW camera images to digitally restore the color of the scene to how it would have appeared at the time of capture and based on that understand the color vision of Dufaycolor film.

    This is joint work with Linda Kimrova (Charles University) and Doug Peterson (DT Heritage) with significant support from the National Geographic Society.
     
    Jan Hubička  is following on from his presentation to the group on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 when he spoke on Digitizing Paget, Finlay and Dufaycolor photographs at National Geographic Society.  He is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics, software developer at SUSE LINUX s.r.o. and also a co-founder and a co-director of Šechtl and Voseček Museum of Photography in Tábor, Czech Republic. His interest in early color photography was sparked by Autochromes taken by his great grandfather, Josef Jindřich Šechtl. In 2006 he organized exhibition of early color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (first in Europe except for Moscow) for which he made his own tool composing scans of the separation negatives. In 2007 he organized exhibition of (reproductions of) Czech Autochromes which got him into contact with American collector of early color photography, Mark Jacobs. He helped to digitize important part of Mark Jacobs' collection and in 2012 organized exhibition “When the World Turned to Color Early Color Photography from the Mark Jacobs Collection”. Work on regular color screen processes started in 2011 for exhibition of photographs from the American Colony Collection where Mark Jacobs identified negatives for Finlay color process. He also co-organized two international workshops on early color photography, "Legacy of three-color photography" in 2008 and "Space, Color, Motion" in 2013.
    Cornwell-Clyne, Adrian. Colour Cinematography. United Kingdom: Champman & Hall, 1951.
    https://archive.org/details/in.gov.ignca.15062/page/n303/mode/2up
     
    Thorne Baker, Thomas. The Spicer-Dufay Colour Film Process. The Photographic Journal, March, 1932, 109-117
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-72
     
    Bonamico, C., and T. Thorne Baker. "Dyes and Colours in Photography." Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists 49, no. 4 (1933): 103-105.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1478-4408.1933.tb01749.x
     
    The Dufaycolor Manual: Of Interest to Advanced Amateurs, Professional Photographers and Printers. United States: Dufaycolor, Incorporated, 1938.
    https://filmcolors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Dufaycolor_Manual_1938_print.pdf
     
    Harrison and Horner. "The Principles of Dufaycolor prinitng" The photographic journal, May 1939, 320-329
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-79
     

    Renwick, F. F.. "The Dufaycolour Process" The photographic journal, January 1935, 28-37
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-75/734248

     
    Developing a RAW photo "by hand"
    https://www.odelama.com/photo/Developing-a-RAW-Photo-by-hand/
     


  • January 16, 2024

    Madame Yevonde and the VIVEX process - A talk by Disruptive Print
    The work presented here is the result of a collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery and Disruptive Print, then part of the Centre for Print Research at the University of the West of England. The National Portrait Gallery approached us when they were looking for someone who could help them to print colour images taken by Madame Yevonde [1] in the 30s of the last century. Madame Yevonde was the most famous user of the VIVEX process [2] , the photomechanical reproduction process for colour photographs before the second world war in the UK. The VIVEX process was a commercial method and therefore only ill documented. What we know is that the images were taken through red, green, and blue filters on black and white film and then printed by layering pigmented gelatine layers in cyan, magenta, and yellow in top of each other, but how exactly is lost. We will discuss the registration of the three negatives and possible printing methods.
     
    Disruptive Print
    Disruptive Print is a collective of 4 printmakers with diverse backgrounds. Susanne Klein and Abigail Trujillo Vazquez are physicists, Elizabete Kozlovska is a conservator and Harrie Fuller a printmaker. Our research interests are old, partly forgotten, printing methods and how to
    transform them into new, 21 st century, technologies with the aim to make them relevant again. All four of us are practising artists and our work can be seen in national and international print exhibitions.
    Recommended Readings:
    [1] N. P. Gallery. "Yevonde: A beginner's guide." National Portrait Gallery.
    https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/yevonde-a-beginners-guide (accessed 25 of September,
    2023).
    [2] F. W. Coppin and D. A. Spencer, "Basic Features of the "VIVEX" process," The
    Photographic Journal, vol. 88b, Section B: Scientific and Technical Photography, p. 5,
    1948.


  • December 19, 2023

    Digitizing Paget, Finlay and Dufaycolor photographs at National Geographic Society
    Jan Hubička 
     
    Early color collection of National Geographic Society consists of over 15,000 plates. In 2020, the Society began the Early Color Photography Conservation and Digitization Project. Probably for the first time a large archive of early color photographs has been digitized in resolution high enough to capture the individual color patches of the mosaic color processes.  While the archive consists mostly of Autochromes, in this talk I will focus on processes based on color screen filters with periodically repeating color patterns (Paget and Finlay color plates and Dufaycolor). These presented interesting problems for digitization, since the regular color pattern interferes with the Bayer filter in the camera. The high resolution scans also makes it possible to digitally reconstruct original color and geometry. It also motivated further research about manufacture process of these materials, color dyes used and other interesting aspects of these color processes. 
     
    This is a joint work with Mark Jacobs, Linda Kimrová (Charles University), Kenzie Klaeser (Digital Transitions), Sara Manco (National Geographic Society), Doug Peterson (Digital Transitions).
     

    Jan Hubička is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics, software developer at SUSE LINUX s.r.o. and also a co-founder and a co-director of Šechtl and Voseček Museum of Photography in Tábor, Czech Republic. His interest in early color photography was sparkled by Autochromes taken by his great grandfather, Josef Jindřich Šechtl. In 2006 he organized exhibition of early color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (first in Europe except for Moscow) for which he made his own tool composing scans of the separation negatives. In 2007 he organized exhibition of (reproductions of) Czech Autochromes which got him into contact with American collector of early color photography, Mark Jacobs. He helped to digitize important part of Mark Jacobs' collection and in 2012 organized exhibition “When the World Turned to Color Early Color Photography from the Mark Jacobs Collection”. Work on regular color screen processes started in 2011 for exhibition of photographs from the American Colony Collection where Mark Jacobs identified negatives for Finlay color process. He also co-orgnized two international workshops on early color photography, "Legacy of three-color phorography" in 2008 and "Space, Color, Motion" in 2013.
     
    Reading
    Geoffrey Barker, Jan Hubička, Mark Jacobs, Linda Kimrová, Kendra Meyer, Doug Peterson: Finlay, Thames, Dufay, and Paget color screen process collections: Using digital registration of viewing screens to reveal original color
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2211.16076
     
    Jan Hubička, Linda Kimrová, Kenzie Klaeser, Sara Manco, Doug Peterson: Digital analysis of early color photographs taken using regular color screen processes
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2309.09631

     


  • November 21, 2023

    The Interferential Colour Plate (aka Lippmann Plate), an introduction to the first true and permanent colour photographic technique in the history of photography
     
    Materiality, Identification, and Conservation Challenges of Lippmann Plates
    Jens Gold, PhD candidate, Preus Museum – National Museum of Photography, Norway
     
    Keywords: Lippmann-Interferential-colour-plate, Interferential-colour, Lippmann, Neuhauss, Lehmann, Krone, Hertzberg
     
    In 1891 the first true and permanent colour photographic technique in the history of photography was presented by Gabriel Lippmann (1845-1921). Almost immediately after the presentation, several photographers and scientists started to experiment and produce images with Lippmann colour. This utmost fascinating technique depends on the standing wave phenomenon of light, it therefore does not need pigments, nor dyes, to perform. Looking at the activity and the historic literature, several thousand Lippmann interferential colour images must have been produced. Today however, only a few institutions and collectors worldwide possess original examples of these rare colour images.
    This photographic colour technique appears in a variety of conditions and presentation forms which highly affect their vulnerability, permanence, and viewing properties. The Preus Museum – the National Museum of Photography in Norway – has a considerable collection of twelve unique Lippmann colour plates made by two key pioneers of Lippmann colour: Richard Neuhauss and Hans Lehmann. In addition, a unique historic collection with books, papers and objects concerning the Lippmann process is part of this collection. The group of objects builds the basis of a four-year PhD research project that started in the summer of 2021, by the conservation department of Preus Museum [1]. The project aims to investigate Lippmann colour in terms of its materiality, history and its preservation and conservation challenges. The legendary interferential colour photographs by Richard Neuhauss, Hans Lehmann, Hermann Krone [2], Gabriel Lippmann and John Hertzberg are in focus of the presentation to be held. It will give an introduction to the history, technology, presentation, and preservation challenges of Lippmann colour plates. Examples of interferential colour plates will be shown during the presentation. This will be items from the Preus Museum collection, the Norwegian Museum of Technology, the Hermann Krone collection at the TU-Dresden, the Lette Verein Berlin as well as from the Photo Elysée Lausanne. 
     
    [1] J. Gold, Materiality, Identification, and Conservation of Lippmann Plates - in Hanin Hannouch (Editor) Gabriel Lippmann’s Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums; Amsterdam University Press, Florence 2022, Chapter 9, pp. 213-250.
    [2] J. Gold, Hermann Krone’s contributions to Lippmann colour photography – colour plates, materiality, and condition; Rundbrief Photography; coming 2024.
     
    CV:
    Jens Gold has been a photograph conservator at Preus Museum: National Museum for Photography (Norway) since 2002. Currently, he is PhD Candidate at the University of Oslo – Institute for Archaeology, Conservation and History, with the research project: “Lippmann Interference Photography: History, Materiality and Treatment Challenges”. He was co-curator of Slow Color Photography – Lippmann interferential color photography in the Preus Museum Collection. In 1998 he completed his studies in photograph conservation from HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences, and in 2018 he graduated from the University of Oslo with an MA in object conservation. From 1999 to 2001, he was a fellow in the Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman House and the Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, New York.
    Literature:  Hanin Hannouch (Editor): Gabriel Lippmann’s Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums; Amsterdam University Press 2022.

     
     


  • October 17, 2023

    Filters, Optics, Visions: Color Imaging and Missionary Photography in Modern China
     
    Abstract: 
     
    Cameras and visual technologies accompanied missionaries as they undertook diverse cultural, political, and religious projects in China across the first half of the twentieth century. In the process, missionaries and Chinese associates thought about and deployed evolving forms of color image-making and photography, tapping into global visual cultures with nineteenth century (and earlier) historical trajectories. Vivid evangelistic posters in quasi-photographic styles, hand-tinted lantern slides and photographic prints, and later color film embodied ideas about the roles of color in relation to cross-cultural visual modernities, local and international. Furthermore, these visual practices and products ultimately escaped their missionary mold and entered global perceptions, shaping transpacific views of modern China alongside Chinese engagements with the world. Drawing from his new book, Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China, Professor Joseph W. Ho will discuss intersections between color imaging, technological and religious imaginations, and transnational visions that transformed twentieth century Sino-Western encounters on both sides of the lens.
     
    Short Bio:
     
    Joseph W. Ho is Associate Professor of History at Albion College, Michigan, and a Center Associate at the University of Michigan’s Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. He is a historian of modern East Asia, US-China encounters, and transnational visual culture and media. Ho is the co-editor of War and Occupation in China: The Letters of an American Missionary from Hangzhou, 1937–1938 (Lehigh University Press, 2017), and the author of Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China (Cornell University Press, 2022). In 2024–2025, he will be the EDS-Stewart Distinguished Research Fellow at Boston College's Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, and is currently preparing his next monograph, Bamboo Wireless: Mediating the Cold War in Asia.  


  • September 19, 2023

    Chromatic Imagination: Realising Early Colour Photography in Britain, 1890 to 1939
    When colour photography emerged in industrialised societies in the late nineteenth century it sparked industrial and scientific interest for some and aesthetic and conceptual concern for others. Over the course of fifty years, from 1890 until 1939, the accessibility of colour photography changed dramatically, culminating with the widespread uptake of Kodak Corporation’s Kodachrome colour-coupler technology in the late 1930s. Kodachrome reversal film redefined the photographic industry. It was celebrated as the solution to nearly one hundred years of research and development concentrated on finding a way to make affordable and practical colour pictures, and was so proficient that by the early 1940s it was in position to usurp the majority of competing colour processes established before it.
    The flourishing industry of colour photography that existed before Kodachrome was driven largely by improvements in technology, including the introduction of aniline dyes and faster equipment; increased accessibility because of changing economies; and evolving conceptions of colour in public consciousness as it related art, advertising and collective taste. Although most nascent colour photography enterprises failed, the sheer volume of processes introduced signifies an enormous amount of creative velocity attributable to diverse thought and experimentation on behalf of colour photography’s innumerable stakeholders. Through consideration of the meaning of colour in contemporary British society, and the economic and social networks that underpinned the industry, this thesis aims to establish a stronger understanding of the competitive and dynamic market for early colour photography between 1890 and 1939.
    Bio
    Hana Kaluznick is Assistant Curator of Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). She was Assistant Curator of the expansion of the V&A Photography Centre (2023) and has contributed to other V&A displays including Known and Strange (2021) and Valérie Belin / Reflection (2019). She is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool studying the industrial history of early colour photography.
    Suggested reading is the first chapters of ‘Chromophobia’ by David Batchelor 
    https://archive.org/details/chromophobia00batc_0/page/24/mode/2up
    Target audience: Historians of Britan, Curators, Industrial Historians.


Group Conveners

  • Janine's picture

    Janine Freeston

    Free-lance researcher, cataloger and digitizer of photographic archives, author, consultant, co-curator of photographic exhibitions, tutor and associate lecturer. She specializes in early color photography and photographic processes, currently researching the associated technological and litigious aspects of trichromatic technology up to the 1930s. Her completed thesis Colour photography in Britain, 1906-1932: Exhibition, Technology, Commerce and Culture - the Dynamics that Shaped its Emergence, will shortly be available. Janine is currently co-authoring an undergraduate study guide to understanding and applying research methods for photography in cultural studies and coordinates annual research symposiums on behalf of the Royal Photographic Society Historical Group with Andrew Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Photography at Sheffield Hallam University for academics, writers and collectors at any stage of their research.

     

  • Hanin's picture

    Hanin Hannouch

    Dr. Hanin Hannouch (she/her) is Curator for Analog and Digital Media at the Weltmuseum Wien, where she is responsible for the collections of photography, film, and sound. Since November 2022, she has been a member of the advisory board of the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh). She is the editor of the first volume on interferential color photography titled "Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums" (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) and has guest-curated the exhibition "Slow Colour Photography" about it at Preus Museum: National Museum of Photography (Norway). Moreover, she is the guest-editor of the journal PhotoResearcher Nr. 37 "Three-Colour Photography around 1900: Technologies, Expeditions, Empires". Dr. Hannouch was a Post-Doc, among others, at the Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut where she investigated colonial color photography in the 19th and early 20th century. She earned her PhD from IMT Lucca, Scuola Alti Studi (2017) with a dissertation on the history of film and art in the Soviet Union titled "Art History as Janus: Sergei Eisenstein on the Visual Arts," after completing an international Masters degree in art history and museology (IMKM) at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2014), as well as another Masters (2012) and a Bachelors focusing on European modern art at the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik (Lebanon). She speaks Arabic, French, English, German, Italian fluently and continues to learn Russian. Currently, she is writing her monograph on the history of color photography in Imperial Germany, as well as another book on the history of the photography collection at the Weltmuseum Wien.

     

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