Wife of American Horse, Dakota Sioux

Gelatin Silver Print

— The first step toward commercial photography

In 1871 the English physician Richard Leach Maddox changed photography forever by inventing the gelatin dry plate. Photo printing had always been a tricky process, with processes like the daguerreotype and collodion process requiring mercury or ether vapor to create a light-sensitive plate that could receive the image. In his medical practice, Maddox used photomicrography, or photography under a microscope, and through experimentation discovered that the sensitizing chemicals cadmium bromide and silver nitrate should be coated on a glass plate in gelatin and dried. Dry plates could be manufactured and sold wholesale, rather than made by the photographer as needed in their darkroom.

The next decade saw huge leaps forward in the sensitivity and efficiency of the gelatin silver process, and soon the silver process was transferred onto photo paper, making it even more accessible. Unfortunately, Maddox published his experiments as a gift to the world, made no money from his discovery, and died in poverty.

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Amos Two Bulls — Profile

Gertrude Käsebier, 1900

Wife of American Horse, Dakota Sioux

Gertrude Käsebier, 1900

Kate and Rachel Van Der Zee, Lenox, Mass.

James Van Der Zee, 1907

Cousin, Suzie Porter, New York City

James Van Der Zee, 1914

"God"

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, 1917

Victory Arch and Flatiron Bldg

1919

The Kiss

Man Ray, 1922

Nude, Harlem

James Van Der Zee, 1923

Garveyite Family, Harlem

James Van Der Zee, 1924

Ingres's Violin

Man Ray, 1924

The Constructor

El Lissitzky, 1924

Cactus

Tina Modotti, 1925

Two Women from Tehuantepec with jicalpextle

Tina Modotti, 1925

Black and White

Man Ray, 1926

Workers Parade

Tina Modotti, 1926

Child in Sombrero

Tina Modotti, 1927

Hands Washing

Tina Modotti, 1927

Untitled

Tina Modotti, 1928

What do you want from me?

Claude Cahun, 1928

Tehuantepec Type

Tina Modotti, 1929

Untitled

Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1929

Ladle B, Otis Steel Mill, Cleveland

Margaret Bourke-White, 1930

Lumber

Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1930

Pioneer with a Bugle

Aleksandr Rodchenko, 1930

Prayer

Man Ray, 1930

Ranchos de Taos Church

Laura Gilpin, 1930

Couple, Harlem

James Van Der Zee, 1932

Stairway, Temple of Kukulcán, Chichén Itzá

Laura Gilpin, 1932

Ornamental Gargoyle, Chrysler Building

Margaret Bourke-White, 1934

Self Portrait with the Lamp

Man Ray, 1934

Migrant Mother

Dorothea Lange, 1936

At the time of the Louisville Flood, Louisville, Kentucky

Margaret Bourke-White, 1937

Eighteen Year-Old Mother

Dorothea Lange, 1937

Refugee Families

Dorothea Lange, 1937

African American and White Soldiers aboard A Ship

Gordon Parks, 1941

American Gothic

Gordon Parks, 1942

Mrs. Ella Watson

Gordon Parks, 1942

Negro Women In Her Bedroom

Gordon Parks, 1942

Portrait of Paul Robeson

Gordon Parks, 1942

Photographers from the Negro press at Howard University Commencement Exercises

Gordon Parks, 1942

The Storm Over La Bajada

Laura Gilpin, 1946

A Chance Meeting in the Desert

Laura Gilpin, 1950
More Art Mediums

Terracotta

Pencil

Ink

From the caves to the desktop

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