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from the group: Gum Dichromate

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Bromoil Transfer
Collodion POP
Direct Carbon (Fresson)
Dye Imbibition
Gelatin Dry Plate
Gelatin POP
Gum Dichromate
Instant (Diffusion Transfer)
Instant (Dye Diffusion Transfer)
Instant (Internal Dye Diffusion Transfer)
Matte Collodion
Salted Paper
Screen Plate
Silver Dye Bleach
Silver Gelatin DOP
Wet Plate Collodion


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Notes on this view:

The medium and style of this photograph suggest that it was created in the spirit of Pictorialism, an international aesthetic movement popular amongst fine art photographers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pictorialism was an approach to photography that emphasized individual expression over mechanical reproduction. Conceptually, Pictorialism can be understood as both a response to the debate over whether or not photography is a fine art and a reaction to the advent of amateur photography. Pictorialists emulated the aesthetics of painting and printmaking and utilized labor-intensive printing methods. They believed that these efforts would demonstrate that photography, like any other fine art, required creativity, and a mastery of technique and material. Many Pictorialists favored classical or natural imagery and softly detailed or blurred images. They utilized a variety of papers and printing processes to create these effects. Some also employed specially designed lenses, or manipulated negatives and prints with brushes, ink or abrasive materials like sandpaper. The widespread popularity of Pictorialism prompted the formation not only of photographic societies comprised of the famous such as the Linked Ring (England), Photo-Club de Paris (France), the Photo Succession (United States), but also societies in smaller cities made up of dedicated unknowns. The most renowned Pictorialists were featured regularly in Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work, a quarterly photographic journal that circulated from 1903 to 1917.

This particular print is softly detailed, a characteristic of the gum dichromate process highly valued by the Pictorialists. Also notice that certain sections of the print’s top layer of pigment have been scraped away to reveal a second color; print manipulation was another practice common amongst Pictorialists.