A Survey of Color Photography

A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day

A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day

A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day
February 2 - April 29, 2018
Marshall Fine Art Center, Haverford PA, USA

participating artists: Victor Keppler , Edward Steichen, Paul Outerbridge, Alexander Lieberman, Stephen Shore, Harold Eugene Edgerton, Joel Sternfeld, Kelli Connell, Conrad Chavez, Theo Anderson, William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Jeffrey Blake, Christine Kathryn Welch, Orit Siman-Tov , National Aeronautics and Space Administration , Marion Belanger, Marion Belanger , Joel Sternfeld, Robert Lyons , Shane Lavalette , Paul Octavious, Anna Shteynshleyger , Zoe Strauss , Larry Burrows, Richard Misrach , Stuart Klipper , Stephen Shore , Rebecca Robertson, William Garrett , Charles Rubin, Mark Klett, Gabrielle Russomagno , Andres Serrano , Thomas Kellner, Laurie Simmons , William Wegman, Barbara Probst , Deborah Willis, Amy Stevens,  Misty Keasler , Jeannie Pearce , Vita Litvak, Susan Worsham, Elinor Carucci , Sarah Kaufman , Zackary Drucker, Nan Goldin, Linda Troeller, Beth Yarnelle Edwards, Martin Parr, Jamel Shabazz, Kelli Connell, Daniel Traub, Yolanda del Amo , Jessica Todd Harper, Daniel S. Williams, Russell Lee, Rachel Papo, Amy Stein , Phyllis Galembo, Stuart A. Rome, Lori Waselchuk, Thomas Porett , Annie Leibovitz , Rosamond Wolff Purcell, Genevieve Brunning Katherman, Roger Mertin , Cindy Sherman , Jim Stone , Harold Eugene Edgerton, Clarissa T. Sligh, Thomas Porett , Duane Michals , Esther Parada , Awol Erizku, Antoine Claudet,  Norman Parkinson, Harry Warnecke, Richard Avedon , Sarah Stolfa , Abe Aronow , John Weiss, Harry M. Callahan, Eirik Johnson , Helen Levitt , John Pfahl, Alison Bixby , Ogle Winston , Jenny Odell , Walker Evans , Theo Anderson , Marion Post Wolcott, David Graham , Justyna Badach, Buzz Spector.

Marshall Fine Art Center
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford PA 19041, USA


“[…] the underlying ideas of Kellner's photography we have to deconstruct the rules of linear perspective, …“  Michalowska, M., Kontakt Kellner, Thomas, 2014, Seltmann+Söhne, Berlin/Siegen, page 48

A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day

February 2-April 29, 2018
Atrium Gallery, Marshall Fine Art Center

Opening Reception: Friday, Feb. 2, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the gallery

The word “photography” means writing or drawing with light; the ability to create mimetic images solely by the action of light. This process—part science and part art—was greeted with much enthusiasm and wonder upon its introduction in 1839 by co-inventors, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre in France and William Henry Fox Talbot in England. But the inability of these earliest photographic processes to record full color spectrum light was noticeable and regrettable from their introduction.

The search for a manufacturing process to produce full color spectrum photographs upon exposure to light was not achieved until Eastman Kodak in America introduced Kodachrome transparency film in 1935 and Agfa Gevaert in Germany introduced Agfa Color-Neu transparency film in 1936. By the late 1950s the technology to shoot in color was widely available to professionals and amateurs alike, however the prevailing sentiment of the era was that color photography was not artistic, or, as photographer Robert Frank wrote in 1958, “Black and white are the colors of photography.” Recognition of color photography as an art form didn’t begin until decades later with William Eggleston’s 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which stunned critics with its negation of black-and-white techniques.

A new exhibition at Haverford College’s Atrium Gallery, A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day, chronicles this story via 75 representative photographs and related material from the College’s Collection of Photography. A diverse group of photographers, photographs, and processes from the Daguerreian era (1839 to 1855) to today’s digital era take viewers on a tour of color photography’s history, demonstrating how color photography has grown to become the norm when it was once the exception.  

The earliest examples in the exhibition include a Daguerreotype by Antoine Claudet and hand-painted albumin prints of scenes from the American West and Japan from the latter half of the 19th century, which required skilled artists to add color to provide a more life-like appearance. Harold Edgerton’s high-speed color photographs—the first ever made, thanks to a donation of Kodachrome film from its inventor—are also on display, as is Edgerton’s seminal book Flash, 1939, which contains representative examples of that work. First edition books by William Eggleston, including the catalog for his 1976 MoMA show, and Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places are also on view.

The exhibit also showcases the history of digital color photography from “Voodoo Child,” Thomas Porett’s 1980 benchmark for how far this medium has come, to recent works by Zoe Strauss, Shane Lavalette, Kelli Conell, and Misty Keasler.

This exhibit is the first show of this type, featuring only color photography, at Haverford College. Its 75 photographs were selected from 440 color prints in the College’s collection of over 5,000 fine art photographs that survey the field of photography from its origins to the present day.

Thank you for putting this into A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present Day

Thank you to Shannon Murphy, Natasha Cohen-Carroll, Dan Burns and William Williams for showing my work at Haverford College.

A Survey of Color Photography from its Prehistory to the Present

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