Daguerreotype Exhibit at Vassar Opens April 10

Close to 150 daguerreotypes on display

More than a century before digital camera phones became part of daily life and long before the use of film in modern photography, an early successful photographic technique swept both sides of the Atlantic. Daguerreotypes, the images made from this method, are the focus of a new exhibition on view April 10 through June 14 at Vassar’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

Standing Girl With Large Doll, 19th-century sixth-plate daguerreotype

Standing Girl With Large Doll, 19th-century sixth-plate daguerreotype

Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks From the Dawn of Photography brings together a comprehensive collection of close to 150 daguerreotypes, offering an extensive look at this 19th-century medium. The show includes all the major genres of the form — portraiture, landscapes, architectural studies, occupationals, erotic stereoviews and post-mortems.

An opening lecture and reception will take place Friday, April 10. John Wood, historian of early photography and author of several books on daguerreotypes, will present The Daguerreotype and the Democratization of Portraiture at 5:30 p.m. in Taylor Hall, Room 102, followed by a reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

The Wild Bunch, 19th-century half-plate daguerreotype

The Wild Bunch, 19th-century half-plate daguerreotype

On Thursday, April 16, at 4 p.m. in the Art Center, Curator Mary-Kay Lombino leads an informal discussion of the Through the Looking Glass exhibition in the galleries.

A walk-through with the collector occurs at noon on Friday, May 29, as Michael Mattis, whose objects are featured in Through the Looking Glass, will give an informal walk-through of the exhibition. Mattis and his wife, Judith Hochberg, are both avid collectors of daguerreotypes.

Admission to the Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible. The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. It is located at the entrance to Vassar College. For more information, call 845-437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.

Photos courtesy of Vassar College.

Images  from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg


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