faking it: photo manipulation before the digital age faking it: photo manipulation before the digital age
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 daguerreotype 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, 1949 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

  • Oh this is just so beautiful!

    Monica says:
  • Where’s John Heartfield?

    Jane says:
  • Remember how long ago these were sone, and all the effort and creativity that went into them…puts Photoshop to shame. Exquisite!

    Pashmaniac says:

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