South Bend, IN
art2art is delighted to present a comprehensive survey of the daguerreotype featuring important examples from America, France, England, and the Mideast. Invented in 1839, the daguerreotype is the chameleon of photography: open up its jewel-like leather or thermoplastic case and see yourself reflected in the mirror of the silver surface, now view it from another angle and see a startling negative image, now from yet a third angle and see the positive image revealed in its infinite detail and three-dimensionality – it takes your breath away. It is indeed a mirror held up to the soul of its subject, a time-machine to a bygone era.
This exhibit comprises both cased examples, mostly American, and larger framed plates, primarily European. Rarities include artistic whole plates of Boston’s upper crust by Southworth & Hawes; one of the earliest photos of Jerusalem, an archaeological whole plate by Girault de Prangey; and an important, unpublished gold-rush daguerreotype featuring a female miner.
All the major collecting genres of daguerreotypy – landscapes, occupationals, erotic stereos, post-mortems, slavery subjects, and of course portraiture – are represented by superb, often surprising examples in this unique and memorable exhibit.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.