October 25, 2009–March 14, 2010
This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.
This exhibition chronicles the major technological developments in photographic processes from the origins of the medium until the advent of digital photography. Drawn from the Gallery's permanent collection, the exhibition is organized chronologically and includes some 90 photographs that range from an early photogenic drawing by William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of photography, to Polaroid prints by Andy Warhol. Superb examples of the major photographic processes, including salted paper, albumen, gelatin silver, and chromogenic prints, will be on view, along with examples of photomechanical processes such as photogravure and halftone. The selections in the exhibition will highlight the artistic vitality and technological virtuosity of the medium's practitioners and demonstrate the many factors—not only the choice of process, but also scale, tone, cropping, enlarging, and paper selection—that shape the aesthetic quality and meaning of a photograph. A book entitled In the Darkroom: An Illustrated Guide to Photographic Processes will be published in association with this exhibition.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art.