D.C. Exhibition Focuses On Early Photography
BY LOUIS MARROQUIN — Fall 2018
French artist Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre introduced daguerreotypes — direct-positive images produced on a sensitized plate of silver-clad copper — in 1839. American artists saw the commercial possibilities of this experimental process, which quickly became the era’s go-to method for portrait photography.
The exhibition represents works the museum has collected over the past 50 years, beginning with the gallery’s first daguerreotype acquisition in 1965: a portrait of poet and artist Thomas Buchanan Read. Other subjects include showman P.T. Barnum with Tom Thumb, activist Dorothea Dix, and writer Henry David Thoreau. 202-633-1000; npg.si.edu
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