Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today, I went to see Sepeia Memories - 19th Century Photographs an exhibit currently on display at the Worcester Art Musuem. Seven things about this exhibit.

1. I understood it! Every inch of it. Sometimes looking at modern art, I think the emperor is naked. Why is this art? But no such thought while viewing the photographs

2. I was amazed that a photographic process was in use as early as the 1840s. Such as the Daguerreotype, a process of exposing an image on a copper sheet fixed with silver and exposed to iodine vapor. Only one image could be made from the negative.

3. The sepeia refers to the warm, brownish tones in the photographs, but doesn't involve real sepeia ink from squid.

4. There was a stereoscopic viewer in a glass case. The viewer was made from cherry or mahogany and had intricately lace-like carvings.

5. I had to stand on tiptoe to peek in to the viewer to see a reclining nude. Her back was to the viewer. Her pose was positively chaste compared to the models in a Victoria Secrets catalog.

6. Since the early phographic process took so long, the subject had to stand still for a long time. the exhibit had a picture of a bull calf and another of a cow. Guess the animals wouldn't fidgit.

7. There were photographs of lots of famous people: Robert E. Lee sitting in front of his home just after the surrender at Appomattox, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and Dorothea Dix to name a few.

Do you like looking at old photographs? Wondering about the people in them or why a picture of a cow was taken? The cow above is not from the exhibit. It's clipart and then through the magic of Paint Shop Pro X2, I turned it into a Daguerreotype. Fun!


  1. I love old photographs. And you're right, Modern Art leaves me quite often at a loss for words.

  2. Your excitement radiates... I get lots of comments about sister Laurence in my living room and it is quite old... There's something magical about them.

  3. I love old photos too. They seem to say so much and still leave room to imagine.