Category Archives: photographs


Welt-Ausstellung in Wien 1873

While you might think this was one of the national pavilions at the 1873 International Exhibition in Vienna, is was in fact one of the many restaurants, beer halls and coffee houses opened throughout the fairgrounds. Run by two New York restaurant owners and staffed with a wide variety of non-white waiters, the bar served martinis and other cocktails, described as typical American drinks.

The photograph was made by Josef Löwy (1834–1902), an Austrian painter, publisher, industrialist, and Royal court photographer. Löwy operated a popular photography studio in Vienna, known especially for celebrity portraits. He was also a member of the Wiener Photographen Association, which had their own building at the fair. Oscar Kramer led the Association and was the publisher of this album, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection.

Several of Löwy’s photographs won medals during the Exhibition, leading to his appointment as official photographer to the Austrian Court. It is noteworthy that after his death Mathilde Löwy (1854-1908), his wife and also a talented photographer, took over the operation of the studio until her death. His nephew, Gustav Löwy, followed as owner, renaming the studio “Art Institute J. Lowy”.

Welt-Ausstellung in Wien, 1873 ([Vienna: Oskar Kramer, 1873]). Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process. Album of 24 albumen silver prints of the Vienna International Exhibition of 1873.

The 1873 Vienna Welt-Ausstellung was open from May 1, 1873 through November and it was the first international exposition held in Austria. Here are a few more plates:

Hunting Brown Bear in Alaska 1910




In honor of Ben Primer, and thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a photography album owned by George Frederick Norton (1876-1917) documenting a hunting expedition in the American West and Alaska, ca. 1910. The album contains 117 mounted gelatin silver prints (slightly photoshopped here) and a few letters. Born in Kentucky, Norton attended the Lawrenceville School and served as a partner at the brokerage Ex Norton & Co. Our dealer continues:

However, his life’s passion was travel, adventure and big game. Norton made numerous trips to the west and Alaska on private hunting expeditions, including the one depicted in the present album, and collected and donated specimens (with a particular emphasis on bear skulls) to the American Museum of Natural History the Smithsonian and other institutions. Indeed in 1910, the Department of Agriculture granted him a permit to capture and ship Alaskan brown bears in excess of the bag limit.

In 1901, he journeyed around the world and in 1908 he helped finance the final Peary expedition to the North Pole, accompanying him aboard the ship Eric as far north as Etah, Greenland. During World War I, Norton would serve in the American Field Service, and would be killed in action in France.

Given the terrain and the fauna (moose, mountain lion, pronghorn antelope, elk), the expedition(s) seen in the album were likely to Montana, Idaho or Wyoming. However, given Norton’s many expeditions farther north, some of the images may also be from Alaska.

Goodbye Robert Frank

Pull my daisy [videorecording] / a G-String Enterprise, Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie present ; written and narrated by Jack Kerouac (Göttingen : Steidl, c2012). 2 videodiscs (28 min. each) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 2 booklets. Directed and produced by Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank ; story and idea by Jack Kerouac ; edited by Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, and Leon Prochnik ; music by David Amram. Participant(s)/Performer(s): Mooney Peebles (Richard Bellamy), Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Larry Rivers, Beltiane (Delphine Seyrig), David Amram, Alice Neel, Sally Gross.

Based on a scene from Jack Kerouac’s play, “Beat Generation,” with his improvised voice-over narration. The story centers around a brakeman and his wife, their friends, and a bishop who is invited over for dinner. Videodisc release of the 1959 short film. Includes two booklets that contain some of the content from the book about the film published originally by Grove Press in 1961, and reissued in 2008 by Steidl. The first booklet ([27] p. : ill. ; 18 cm.) contains lyrics to the song, an essay by Jerry Tallmer, and the text of Kerouac’s narration. The second booklet ([52] p. : ill. ; 18 cm.) contains photographs taken by John Cohen during the production of the film.

The Largest Photography Gallery in the U.S.

The Chicago Siegel-Cooper Company was established in 1887 and nine years later owner Henry Siegel opened an enormous department store in New York at 18th Street and 6th Avenue. It was, at that time, the largest store in the world. On opening day, a near riot occurred as 150,000 shoppers tried to squeeze into the store built to house only 35,000. Note the elevated railroad stop exclusive to the store.Twenty-three electric elevators carried shoppers to four floors (five and six were confined to staff), along with a basement restaurant and botanical garden on the roof. The first floor book department included a stationary unit with a small press for engraved wedding invitations and visiting cards. From 1905 to 1915, the concession was managed by Cassius Coleman and his son, painter Glenn O. Coleman (1881-1932). See number 29 on the floor plan:Along 18th street between 7th and 8th avenue was their enormous stable housing 200 horses for home delivery of purchases and a hospital for sick horses run by a team of veterinarians.

Besides the botanical garden, the roof featured an immense photography gallery, “the largest and most complete in the United States. It is fitted up with all the latest improvements appertaining to the photographic art, and an able staff of assistants under the control of a master of the art of artistic portraiture. Here the visitor can obtain the finest and most artistic portraits, varying in size from the smallest miniature to life size.”
According to the store’s literature, the gallery completed “4,000 photographs on a bright day and 20,000 in a week, [in] the most modern and up-to-date gallery in America. Enlarging is done in crayons, water colors, pastel, and oils. The visitor can obtain a crayon portrait for $1 to $25, or he can pay $250 to $300 for the finest kind of reproduction in pastel or oils.”

The space included a great reception room where sitters congregated along with various cozy dressing and retiring rooms for changing clothes and preparing to be photographed.

Read more: A Bird’s-Eye View of Greater New York and Its Most Magnificent Store: being a concise and comprehensive visitor’s guide to Greater New York, its myriad sights and scenes, and its grandest emporium of commerce, the big store of Siegel-Copper Co. (New York: Siegel, Cooper & Co., 1898).

Frank Hegger

Frank Hegger (ca. 1840-1903) was described by his daughter Grace (Mrs. Sinclair Lewis) as a “failed artist turned photographer.” On October 27, 1886, he became one of the first image distributor arrested by Anthony Comstock, Secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, for selling obscene photographs.

Hegger was accused of selling “unmounted photographs” that were imported through the mails from Paris, described as “of the most obscene and filthy character. …one package contained 134 pictures, most of them from life, and I am satisfied from my investigation that there is a large amount of nude and obscene pictures imported by various dealers in the City of New York, …designed for artists [but]…distributed promiscuously.”–Amy Werbel, Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, 2018).

Recognized for his superb carbon prints, Hegger did a fair amount of business with Adolphe Braun through his Paris offices. One package seized in the raid was addressed from that firm, possibly reproductions of works from the Louvre, where Braun held the sole license to photograph and circulate reproductions. These may have been the objectionable nudes. According to Werbel, “Comstock’s campaign to rid America of vice in fact led to greater acceptance of the materials he deemed objectionable.”

By 1890, all Hegger advertisements describe landscapes and architectural views, no portraiture, although men continued to line-up on the sidewalk to get into his shops at 152 Broadway and 288 Fifth Avenue, where prints as large as 4 x 3 feet were displayed and sold.

“Frank Hegger’s Photographic Depot, at 152 Broadway, is the best-known and most popular establishment of its kind in America. This spacious store is a magazine packed with everything that is choice in water-colors, etchings, engravings, photographs of every possible description, and unmounted views from all parts of the globe. “If you can’t get them at Hegger’s, you can’t get them in this country, ” is a well-deserved compliment and literally true.

Hegger’s is always abreast with the time, and the selections which continually replenish his stock are made with the taste and judgment of a man of travel and a knowledge of the best one sees as a traveler.  . . .The absence of the Hegger establishment from New York would leave an aching void to the eyes of thousands to whom his show-windows and portfolios are a perpetual source of intellectual refreshment and aesthetical delight.

The Broadway sidewalk is often blockaded by the throng attracted by his ever freshly renewed and ever novel and interesting displays, and brokers and business men, hot with the fever of mid-day business, break suddenly away from their drive for gain to “run in and see what Hegger has new,” and jostle grave[?] divines and college professors in their investigations of the huge sample books.”

King’s Handbook of New York City: An Outline History and Description of the American Metropolis (1892).152 Broadway, adjoining the N. E. corner of Liberty Street, showing Frank Hegger’s Photographic Depot, the best known and most popular establishment of its kind in its day. –New York Public Library “Old New York” 1883?

See also: Half a loaf by Grace Hegger Lewis (New York: H. Liveright, 1931). Fictionalized autobiographical account of the author’s marriage to Sinclair Lewis. ReCAP 3827.15.342

How light is scattered by the metallic nanoparticles on the surface of a daguerreotype determines the characteristics of its image, such as shade and color.

Andrea E. Schlather, Paul Gieri, Mike Robinson, Silvia A. Centeno, and Alejandro Manjavacas, “Nineteenth-century nanotechnology: The plasmonic properties of daguerreotypes” in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Online first published June 10, 2019 Edited by Catherine J. Murphy, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL, and approved May 2, 2019.

As seen on various websites, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and The University of New Mexico have announced groundbreaking new findings after a two-year study of the plasmonic properties of daguerreotypes. Using atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, together with numerical calculations, the team of scientists from The Met and UNM, in collaboration with Century Darkroom, Toronto was able to determine how the light scattered by the metallic nanoparticles on the surface of a daguerreotype determines the characteristics of its image, such as shade and color.

Daguerreotypes, among the earliest photographs of the 19th century, owe their incredible optical properties, image resolution, and dynamic range to light scattering produced by metallic nanostructures on their surface. Here we provide a detailed experimental and theoretical analysis on how the material composition, morphology, and dimensions of these nanostructures determine the characteristics of the daguerreotype image. Our results provide a scientific understanding of the unique optical effects of these artworks and therefore, in addition to providing valuable insight for developing preservation protocols, can inspire additional approaches for color printing, where nanostructures are directly manufactured by light.

Abstract: Plasmons, the collective oscillations of mobile electrons in metallic nanostructures, interact strongly with light and produce vivid colors, thus offering a new route to develop color printing technologies with improved durability and material simplicity compared with conventional pigments. Over the last decades, researchers in plasmonics have been devoted to manipulating the characteristics of metallic nanostructures to achieve unique and controlled optical effects. However, before plasmonic nanostructures became a science, they were an art. The invention of the daguerreotype was publicly announced in 1839 and is recognized as the earliest photographic technology that successfully captured an image from a camera, with resolution and clarity that remain impressive even by today’s standards. Here, using a unique combination of daguerreotype artistry and expertise, experimental nanoscale surface analysis, and electromagnetic simulations, we perform a comprehensive analysis of the plasmonic properties of these early photographs, which can be recognized as an example of plasmonic color printing. Despite the large variability in size, morphology, and material composition of the nanostructures on the surface of a daguerreotype, we are able to identify and characterize the general mechanisms that give rise to the optical response of daguerreotypes. Therefore, our results provide valuable knowledge to develop preservation protocols and color printing technologies inspired by past ones.

See also Mudd Library’s 2000 online exhibition of their historic Princeton daguerreotypes:

Ritos al Ras del Futuro

Anita Pouchard Serra, Ritos al ras del futuro: un intercambio de miradas sobre los Hijos de 2001, fotografias, Anita Pouchard Serra con Fernando Catz ([Argentina]: Milena Caserola, 2015). Graphic Arts collection GAX 2019- in process

The artist writes:

“This book, in its present form, is not destined to last very long. It is intended to break up to expand to other places chosen by the one who has it at this time in their hands. It is a contribution to the collective construction of memory and future from images and words of yesterday and today around the legacy of 2001, the Argentinian crisis.

It is also a sort of family album, a family adopted to the long of 4 years, found in the street, with whom I shared moments through the life and photography. …This photobook is also an object, made partly artisanal by the authors themselves. It aims to investigate new ways of presenting and sharing photography as well as new ways of thinking a book.

Therefore, each image is presented in 3 formats: An already written postcard that shares feelings and facts of 2001 and present. It is a direct message from the authors to the recipient; A postcard this time virgin so the recipient can share their ideas, memories and feelings to a close or known; and A sticker to paste in the public space or anywhere with wide white bands to receive the words that we want to share with the rest of our society.” —

[FOTOLIBRO] Rttos al ras del futuro / trailer from Los Ojos de Anita on Vimeo.

To enjoy other work by Anita Pouchard Serra, see:

A timeline of events leading up to the strike of 2001 in Argentina:


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired Boundaries, a collaborative project between presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco and contemporary landscape photographer Jacob Bond Hessler. The project was first presented at the Coral Gables Museum, Florida, in Fall 2017 where the exhibition was accompanied by a limited edition book published by Two Ponds Press in an edition of 300.

The prospectus states:

“Blanco’s poems and Hessler’s photographs together investigate the visible and invisible boundaries of race, gender, class, and ethnicity, among many others. Boundaries challenges the physical, imagined, and psychological dividing lines—both historic and current—that shadow America and perpetuate an us vs. them mindset by inciting irrational fears, hate, and prejudice.

In contrast to the current narrowing definition of an America with very clear-cut boundaries, Blanco and Hessler cross and erase borders. As artists, they tear down barriers to understanding by pushing boundaries and exposing them for what they truly are—fabrications for the sake of manifesting power and oppression pitted against our hopes of indeed becoming a boundary-less nation in a boundary-less world.”

Jacob Hessler is a fine art photographer specializing in the contemporary landscape. He is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA, and attended Parsons, The New School for Design, NYC. He lives in Camden, ME, and is represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery, Rockland, ME.

Richard Blanco is the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. In 2015, the Academy of American Poets named him its first Education Ambassador. Blanco lives in Bethel, ME.


Hulu Selam (Peace Only)

Peter Bogardus, Ba Suri A-Challi!! (New York: Khelcom Press, 2013). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process
Peter Bogardus, Meskel Demera (New York: Khelcom Press, 208). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

In 2012, Peter Bogardus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography to “make limited-edition books that are handprinted, and include photogravures, text printed from metal type or xylographically, and sometimes color woodcuts.”

The application essay continues, “The photogravures I make from black-and-white photographs that I have taken in the field. The text in certain volumes is accomplished through collaboration, while in others I have composed it. Setting out on the course of an artistic career, I preferred to attend a liberal-arts college, in this case Hampshire. This allowed me a broad education in the humanities, ranging beyond fine art per se to such pursuits as anatomy, English literature, theology, and anthropology, all under the aegis of my tutor, Leonard Baskin, the coordinator of the “alembic” constituting artistic development.”

“… I returned to photography, the earliest artistic pursuit of my life, which I had studied under Nik Millhouse at St. Bernard’s School. Happily I was able to attend the International Center of Photography to learn about large-format and documentary photography, and then study photogravure with Lothar Osterberg and Jon Goodman, finally returning to the bookmaking I had begun at college. Living in New York has provided a great springboard for the research undertaken in Africa. Leaving the sanctuary of my studio with a camera and the hope to learn from other people and cultures has led to innumerable encounters, which have engendered the books made to date as well as the proposed volumes.”

As an early example of work, Bogardus provided Meskel Demera (2008), and proposed this as part one of a trilogy titled Hulu Selam (Peace Only) featuring different aspects of spiritual life in Ethiopia. Volume two of the trilogy, Ba Suri A-Challi!! came in 2013 thanks to the Guggenheim fellowship and number three is scheduled to appear late 2019 or early 2020.


Hulu Selam (Peace Only) is the title of a trilogy of hand-printed books inspired by spiritual life in Habesha, Ethiopia. The three major religions of Semitic origin came early to the only never-colonized nation of Africa. …Peter Bogardus has visited this mountainous land over the last twelve years…witnessing ritual gatherings and making photographs…”

A Western Gentleman

Thanks to the generosity of Alfred Bush, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a new quarter plate ambrotype, approximately 3.25 x 4.25 inches (8 x 11 cm), of a Western gentleman.

The vast majority of ambrotypes in the world are recorded as: Photographer unknown. Portrait of unidentified man. ca. 1880. Richard Benson noted in his exhibition catalogue The Printed Picture:

Most photographers who have worked in the darkroom are aware that negatives can sometimes appear as positives. Often we will lift an underexposed negative out of the fixer, disappointed that it is of insufficient density, and find that it suddenly appears as a positive. This occurs when the silver deposit is illuminated by the overhead light but we see it against a dark background, perhaps the old darkroom trays made of black rubber. The silver, which appears light gray, shows as a positive instead of a negative, since it is much lighter than the background against which we see it. This phenomenon was noticed early on, and some wet-plate photographers turned it to use by intentionally underexposing their plates, then coating the back of the glass with black paint. The resulting pictures—unique, direct-positive images— were called ambrotypes. Usually small, they were put in cases and entered the same market as the dying daguerreotype.

To hear Benson talk further on tintypes and ambrotypes, see: