camera_lucidaThe Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to hold a nineteenth-century English Camera Lucida, which is simply a tiny prism attached to a brass pole. These optical devices were used by many professional artists for sketching, however, ours is fragile and difficult to focus. Happily, we just acquired a twenty-first century variation called the NeoLucida.


camera_lucida_in_use_drawing_small_figurineNow we can allow students and visitors try their hand at sketching with the curious instrument. The trick is to look down at the blank paper, where you will magically see the image of what is in front of you.

The modern device includes a silvered prism, optimized for optical clarity, carefully encased in a custom anodized aluminum mount. The prism is supported by a highly adjustable gooseneck arm and a sturdy metal clamp. Below is a short video describing the design and manufacturing of it.

Congratulations to the inventors Golan Levin & Pablo Garcia, Princeton Class of 2003!!!