British photographic history

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American Ferrotypes: Second half of the 19th century

Event Details

American Ferrotypes: Second half of the 19th century

Time: September 4, 2010 to January 9, 2011
Location: Swiss Camera Museum
Street: Grande Place
City/Town: CH-1800 Vevey
Website or Map:…
Phone: Vevey 021 925 34 80
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Swiss Camera Museum
Latest Activity: Jul 17, 2010

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Event Description

If you happen to be trekking in Switzerland this autumn, try and pop in to view this exhibition.

In 1853 the French photographer Adolphe Martin invented the ferrotype process in which the sensitive surface is laid on a black or brown lacquered metallic sheet instead of on glass, and which produces a positive image. As this process was inexpensive, it became extremely popular in the 1860s-70s and allowed a wide public to start taking portrait photos. Extensively used by itinerant photographers for small photos, even tiny miniatures fitted into brooches or pendants, this process was particularly successful in North America mainly because it was so similar to the far more costly daguerreotype.

The ferrotypes displayed, remarkable in their size, are typical of those favoured by the general public. The somewhat naive yet charming way in which they have been touched up or tinted takes us back to the rather austere atmosphere of country life in America in the second half of the 19th Century.

Opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 5:30pm

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