faking it: photo manipulation before the digital age
original content
sep 14, 2012
faking it: photo manipulation before the digital age

‘sueño no. 1: ‘articulos eléctricos para el hogar” or ‘dream no. 1: ‘electrical appliances for the home” by grete stern, 1950

gelatin silver print
twentieth-century photography fund, 2012
all images courtesy of the metropolitan museum of art

faking it: manipulated photography before photoshop
the metropolitan museum of art, new york city, USA
october 11th until january 27th, 2013

the metropolitan museum of art has compiled a collection of photographs taken before the era of digital alteration which feature
outlandish compositions. the array of images displayed for the new york museum’s exhibition draw attention to the degree in which
artists have manipulated photography since it’s origin as a medium through which to record our surroundings. ‘faking it’ is comprised
of almost 200 images captured between the 1840s and the 1990s.

the photographs in the exhibition were altered using a variety of techniques, including multiple exposure (taking two or more pictures
on a single negative), combination printing (producing a single print from elements of two or more negatives), photomontage, overpainting,
and retouching on the negative or print… in every case, the meaning and content of the camera image was significantly transformed
in the process of manipulation.
‘ — the metropolitan museum of art


‘american school man on rooftop with eleven men in formation on his shoulders’ by unknown artist, ca. 1930
gelatin silver print
collection of george eastman house
photo courtesy: the metropolitan museum of art

‘man juggling his own head’ by
de torbéchet, allain & c., ca. 1880

saint thomas d’aquin
albumen silver print.
collection of christophe goeury

‘henri de toulouse-lautrec (henri de toulouse-lautrec (french, albi 1864–1901 saint-andré-du-bois)) as artist and model’ by
maurice guibert (french, 1856–1913), 1892

gelatin silver print
philadelphia museum of art, gift of henry p. mcllhenny, 1982-14-2

‘two-headed man’ by
unknown artist, american,
ca. 1855
nelson-atkins museum

‘dirigible docked on empire state building, new york’ by
unknown artist, american
, 1930
gelatin silver print
twentieth-century photography fund, 2011

‘colorado springs, colorado’, by
william henry jackson (american, 1843–1942),
ca. 1913
collage of gelatin silver prints with applied media
amon carter museum of american art, fort worth, texas

‘cloud study’ by
gustave le gray (french, 1820–1884)
, 1856-1857
albumen silver print from glass negatives
maurice sendak

‘aberdeen portraits no. 1′ by george washington wilson (scottish, 1823–1893), 1857
albumen print from glass negative
the horace w. goldsmith foundation fund, through joyce and robert menschel, 2011

‘room with eye’ by
maurice tabard (french, lyons 1897–1984 nice)
, 1930
roger parry (french, 1905–1977)
gelatin silver print
the elisha whittelsey collection, the elisha whittelsey fund, 1962

‘fading away by
henry peach robinson (english, 1830–1901)
‘, 1858
albumen silver print from glass negatives
the royal photographic society at the national media museum

‘lenin and stalin in gorky, 1922′ by 
unknown artist, russian,
gelatin silver print with applied media
ryna and david alexander

‘the vision (orpheus scene)’ by
holland day (american, norwood, massachusetts 1864–1933 norwood, massachusetts)
, 1907
platinum print
national media museum

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