Color Photography in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century: Sciences, Technologies, Empires

The purpose of this working group is to propel a rising field of research; color photography in the 19th and early 20th century in order to reconfigure, expand, and problematize its role in the history of the discipline and in the historical contexts out of which it emerged. Presentations within this working group center on the material and epistemological connections between color technologies, empires, and visuality, as well as the interdisciplinary ties between photography, other media, and neighboring disciplines.

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Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    The International Reach of Lippmann Photography
    Lippmann photography aka interferential color photography generates direct positives on glass that are dazzling in brilliance and archival stability but which cannot be transferred unto paper. This exciting technical genesis meant, however, that opportunities for spectators, scientists, and photography aficionados to connect with Lippmann photography hinged on the physical photograph and on the use of projection devices, capable of megascopic projection, and were thus scarce! Also, lithographs and engravings failed to transmit its unique shimmering colors and its “jewel-like” quality. As a result, examining the international reach of Lippmann photography challenges historical studies that focus on the medium’s „circulation and mobility” through print culture, simply because printing a Lippmann plate was a dream, not an option.
    This presentation addresses one dreamer’s attempt to “print the unprintable”; German engineer Hans Lehmann whose “one hit wonder” Lippmann print has so far received scant scholarly interest. My talk also investigates how, despite the lack of Lippmann prints, knowledge about the process circulated beyond Paris (where Gabriel Lippmann’s lab was located) through other forms of disclosure. Mapping how Lippmann photography reached Sweden, Argentina, and Russia etc. illuminates the international scholarly networks Lippmann was part of as well as the reception (both aesthetic and scientific) of his work.
     
     
    Target Audience: Historians of physics, historians of science, French Studies, Global History
     
    Dr. Hanin Hannouch (she/her) is Curator of analog and digital media at the Weltmuseum Wien where she is oversees the photography, film and sound collections and vice-president of the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh).
    She is the editor of the first volume on interferential color photography "Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums" (Amsterdam University Press, 2022), PhotoResearcher’s special issue „Three-Color Photography around 1900: Technologies, Expeditions, Empires“ (vol.37, 2022), and the open-access journal Cinergie’s special issue titled “Destabilizing Histories: (Re-)appropriation in Photography and Cinema” (2020).
    She was postdoctoral researcher at the Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut where she investigated the colonial and imperial entanglements of color photography. She earned her PhD summa cum laude from IMT Lucca, Scuola Alti Studi (2017) with a thesis about Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein as art historian. She completed the international Masters in art history and museology (IMKM) at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2014). She has also earned a previous Masters (2012) and a Bachelors in European art history, focusing on art in the 20th century, both from Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon. She is currently writing her monograph titled “Color Photography in Imperial Germany”.
     
    Recommended Readings: Please visit the ressource section in this group for all things Lippmann!
     
     
     


  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    "Unidentified color positives in Slovak collections - Research and challenges" by Kitti Baráthová   
    The main purpose of the presentation is to introduce my doctoral research on different color positive processes on transparent supports regarding Slovak collections. The focus is on additive and subtractive color techniques on various bases, such as glass, cellulose film sheets or film roll. The urgency of this topic lies mainly in the fact that Slovak collections do not have identified and correctly categorised these valuable pieces in their depositories, which can lead to sudden deterioration under wrong storage conditions. Extensive research on this topic is constantly carried out in the world, but publications of international literature are mostly in English and only limited information is accessible in Slovakia, which is not widely available for all. The lack of professional literature and higher education of museum staff are few of the problems I am facing. As a conservator I realised that revision of the collections is necessary, because proper identification is the first step of preventive care, appropriate storage conditions and conservation of these rare color positives is extremely important for their future preservation.
     
    Target audience: Conservators/restorators, archivists, curators, museum studies

    Literature/recommended readings:
    • PÉNICHON, Sylvie: Twentieth-Century Color Photographs. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • WILHELM, Henry: The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs. Preservation Publishing Company, Iowa, 1993.
    • ROHRBACH, John: Color! American Photography Transformed. Amon Carter Museum, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2013.
    • LAVÉDRINE, Bertrand – GANDOLFO, Jean-Paul: The Lumiére Autochrome. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • LAVÉDRINE, Bertrand: A Guide to the Preventive Conservation of Photographs Collections. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2003.
    • NORRIS, Debra Hess – GUTIERREZ, Jennifer Jae: Issues in the Conservation of Photographs. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2013.
    • HIRSCH, Robert; ERF, Greg: Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels. Elsevier Focal Press, 2011.
    • FLUECKIGER, Barbara – HIELSCHLER, Eva – WIETLISBACH, Nadine: Color Mania, The Material of Color in Photography and Film, Lars Müller Publishers, Zurich, 2020.


  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    TBA



Past Meetings

  • February 20, 2024

    Understanding colors of Dufaycolor
    Jan Hubička

    Dufaycolor was an additive process of color photography introduced in 1932 for motion film and in 1935 for still photography (the same year as Kodachrome). It was the most advanced color screen process, but is under-appreciated today because the dyes in their emulsion tend to fade. In a previous talk I discussed the possibility of digital color reconstruction based on high resolution scans of original transparencies (ideally including an infrared channel) which makes it possible to reproduce the original colors.

    In order to make the color reconstruction historically authentic, it is necessary to understand details of the process. I will discuss the historical method of printing the Dufaycolor color screen (reseau) and the properties of dyes used to produce it.  Since published data are incomplete, imprecise, and often contradicting each other, I implemented a full digital simulator of the process which makes it possible to turn the spectrum of light seen by the camera into the expected response of Dufaycolor film. I discuss lessons learned from the experiment and how that improves our understanding of the accuracy of color recordings.

    There are three main goals of our project:
     1) We would like to find practical methods of digitizing early color photographs which faithfully and completely reproduce the physical object as it is today.
     2) We would like to digitally restore the colors to their appearance at the time of original processing.
     3) We would like to adapt modern algorithms for processing RAW camera images to digitally restore the color of the scene to how it would have appeared at the time of capture and based on that understand the color vision of Dufaycolor film.

    This is joint work with Linda Kimrova (Charles University) and Doug Peterson (DT Heritage) with significant support from the National Geographic Society.
     
    Jan Hubička  is following on from his presentation to the group on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 when he spoke on Digitizing Paget, Finlay and Dufaycolor photographs at National Geographic Society.  He is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics, software developer at SUSE LINUX s.r.o. and also a co-founder and a co-director of Šechtl and Voseček Museum of Photography in Tábor, Czech Republic. His interest in early color photography was sparked by Autochromes taken by his great grandfather, Josef Jindřich Šechtl. In 2006 he organized exhibition of early color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (first in Europe except for Moscow) for which he made his own tool composing scans of the separation negatives. In 2007 he organized exhibition of (reproductions of) Czech Autochromes which got him into contact with American collector of early color photography, Mark Jacobs. He helped to digitize important part of Mark Jacobs' collection and in 2012 organized exhibition “When the World Turned to Color Early Color Photography from the Mark Jacobs Collection”. Work on regular color screen processes started in 2011 for exhibition of photographs from the American Colony Collection where Mark Jacobs identified negatives for Finlay color process. He also co-organized two international workshops on early color photography, "Legacy of three-color photography" in 2008 and "Space, Color, Motion" in 2013.
    Cornwell-Clyne, Adrian. Colour Cinematography. United Kingdom: Champman & Hall, 1951.
    https://archive.org/details/in.gov.ignca.15062/page/n303/mode/2up
     
    Thorne Baker, Thomas. The Spicer-Dufay Colour Film Process. The Photographic Journal, March, 1932, 109-117
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-72
     
    Bonamico, C., and T. Thorne Baker. "Dyes and Colours in Photography." Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists 49, no. 4 (1933): 103-105.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1478-4408.1933.tb01749.x
     
    The Dufaycolor Manual: Of Interest to Advanced Amateurs, Professional Photographers and Printers. United States: Dufaycolor, Incorporated, 1938.
    https://filmcolors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Dufaycolor_Manual_1938_print.pdf
     
    Harrison and Horner. "The Principles of Dufaycolor prinitng" The photographic journal, May 1939, 320-329
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-79
     

    Renwick, F. F.. "The Dufaycolour Process" The photographic journal, January 1935, 28-37
    https://archive.rps.org/archive/volume-75/734248

     
    Developing a RAW photo "by hand"
    https://www.odelama.com/photo/Developing-a-RAW-Photo-by-hand/
     


  • January 16, 2024

    Madame Yevonde and the VIVEX process - A talk by Disruptive Print
    The work presented here is the result of a collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery and Disruptive Print, then part of the Centre for Print Research at the University of the West of England. The National Portrait Gallery approached us when they were looking for someone who could help them to print colour images taken by Madame Yevonde [1] in the 30s of the last century. Madame Yevonde was the most famous user of the VIVEX process [2] , the photomechanical reproduction process for colour photographs before the second world war in the UK. The VIVEX process was a commercial method and therefore only ill documented. What we know is that the images were taken through red, green, and blue filters on black and white film and then printed by layering pigmented gelatine layers in cyan, magenta, and yellow in top of each other, but how exactly is lost. We will discuss the registration of the three negatives and possible printing methods.
     
    Disruptive Print
    Disruptive Print is a collective of 4 printmakers with diverse backgrounds. Susanne Klein and Abigail Trujillo Vazquez are physicists, Elizabete Kozlovska is a conservator and Harrie Fuller a printmaker. Our research interests are old, partly forgotten, printing methods and how to
    transform them into new, 21 st century, technologies with the aim to make them relevant again. All four of us are practising artists and our work can be seen in national and international print exhibitions.
    Recommended Readings:
    [1] N. P. Gallery. "Yevonde: A beginner's guide." National Portrait Gallery.
    https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/yevonde-a-beginners-guide (accessed 25 of September,
    2023).
    [2] F. W. Coppin and D. A. Spencer, "Basic Features of the "VIVEX" process," The
    Photographic Journal, vol. 88b, Section B: Scientific and Technical Photography, p. 5,
    1948.


  • December 19, 2023

    Digitizing Paget, Finlay and Dufaycolor photographs at National Geographic Society
    Jan Hubička 
     
    Early color collection of National Geographic Society consists of over 15,000 plates. In 2020, the Society began the Early Color Photography Conservation and Digitization Project. Probably for the first time a large archive of early color photographs has been digitized in resolution high enough to capture the individual color patches of the mosaic color processes.  While the archive consists mostly of Autochromes, in this talk I will focus on processes based on color screen filters with periodically repeating color patterns (Paget and Finlay color plates and Dufaycolor). These presented interesting problems for digitization, since the regular color pattern interferes with the Bayer filter in the camera. The high resolution scans also makes it possible to digitally reconstruct original color and geometry. It also motivated further research about manufacture process of these materials, color dyes used and other interesting aspects of these color processes. 
     
    This is a joint work with Mark Jacobs, Linda Kimrová (Charles University), Kenzie Klaeser (Digital Transitions), Sara Manco (National Geographic Society), Doug Peterson (Digital Transitions).
     

    Jan Hubička is an associate professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics, software developer at SUSE LINUX s.r.o. and also a co-founder and a co-director of Šechtl and Voseček Museum of Photography in Tábor, Czech Republic. His interest in early color photography was sparkled by Autochromes taken by his great grandfather, Josef Jindřich Šechtl. In 2006 he organized exhibition of early color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky (first in Europe except for Moscow) for which he made his own tool composing scans of the separation negatives. In 2007 he organized exhibition of (reproductions of) Czech Autochromes which got him into contact with American collector of early color photography, Mark Jacobs. He helped to digitize important part of Mark Jacobs' collection and in 2012 organized exhibition “When the World Turned to Color Early Color Photography from the Mark Jacobs Collection”. Work on regular color screen processes started in 2011 for exhibition of photographs from the American Colony Collection where Mark Jacobs identified negatives for Finlay color process. He also co-orgnized two international workshops on early color photography, "Legacy of three-color phorography" in 2008 and "Space, Color, Motion" in 2013.
     
    Reading
    Geoffrey Barker, Jan Hubička, Mark Jacobs, Linda Kimrová, Kendra Meyer, Doug Peterson: Finlay, Thames, Dufay, and Paget color screen process collections: Using digital registration of viewing screens to reveal original color
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2211.16076
     
    Jan Hubička, Linda Kimrová, Kenzie Klaeser, Sara Manco, Doug Peterson: Digital analysis of early color photographs taken using regular color screen processes
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2309.09631

     


  • November 21, 2023

    The Interferential Colour Plate (aka Lippmann Plate), an introduction to the first true and permanent colour photographic technique in the history of photography
     
    Materiality, Identification, and Conservation Challenges of Lippmann Plates
    Jens Gold, PhD candidate, Preus Museum – National Museum of Photography, Norway
     
    Keywords: Lippmann-Interferential-colour-plate, Interferential-colour, Lippmann, Neuhauss, Lehmann, Krone, Hertzberg
     
    In 1891 the first true and permanent colour photographic technique in the history of photography was presented by Gabriel Lippmann (1845-1921). Almost immediately after the presentation, several photographers and scientists started to experiment and produce images with Lippmann colour. This utmost fascinating technique depends on the standing wave phenomenon of light, it therefore does not need pigments, nor dyes, to perform. Looking at the activity and the historic literature, several thousand Lippmann interferential colour images must have been produced. Today however, only a few institutions and collectors worldwide possess original examples of these rare colour images.
    This photographic colour technique appears in a variety of conditions and presentation forms which highly affect their vulnerability, permanence, and viewing properties. The Preus Museum – the National Museum of Photography in Norway – has a considerable collection of twelve unique Lippmann colour plates made by two key pioneers of Lippmann colour: Richard Neuhauss and Hans Lehmann. In addition, a unique historic collection with books, papers and objects concerning the Lippmann process is part of this collection. The group of objects builds the basis of a four-year PhD research project that started in the summer of 2021, by the conservation department of Preus Museum [1]. The project aims to investigate Lippmann colour in terms of its materiality, history and its preservation and conservation challenges. The legendary interferential colour photographs by Richard Neuhauss, Hans Lehmann, Hermann Krone [2], Gabriel Lippmann and John Hertzberg are in focus of the presentation to be held. It will give an introduction to the history, technology, presentation, and preservation challenges of Lippmann colour plates. Examples of interferential colour plates will be shown during the presentation. This will be items from the Preus Museum collection, the Norwegian Museum of Technology, the Hermann Krone collection at the TU-Dresden, the Lette Verein Berlin as well as from the Photo Elysée Lausanne. 
     
    [1] J. Gold, Materiality, Identification, and Conservation of Lippmann Plates - in Hanin Hannouch (Editor) Gabriel Lippmann’s Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums; Amsterdam University Press, Florence 2022, Chapter 9, pp. 213-250.
    [2] J. Gold, Hermann Krone’s contributions to Lippmann colour photography – colour plates, materiality, and condition; Rundbrief Photography; coming 2024.
     
    CV:
    Jens Gold has been a photograph conservator at Preus Museum: National Museum for Photography (Norway) since 2002. Currently, he is PhD Candidate at the University of Oslo – Institute for Archaeology, Conservation and History, with the research project: “Lippmann Interference Photography: History, Materiality and Treatment Challenges”. He was co-curator of Slow Color Photography – Lippmann interferential color photography in the Preus Museum Collection. In 1998 he completed his studies in photograph conservation from HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences, and in 2018 he graduated from the University of Oslo with an MA in object conservation. From 1999 to 2001, he was a fellow in the Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman House and the Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, New York.
    Literature:  Hanin Hannouch (Editor): Gabriel Lippmann’s Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums; Amsterdam University Press 2022.

     
     


  • October 17, 2023

    Filters, Optics, Visions: Color Imaging and Missionary Photography in Modern China
     
    Abstract: 
     
    Cameras and visual technologies accompanied missionaries as they undertook diverse cultural, political, and religious projects in China across the first half of the twentieth century. In the process, missionaries and Chinese associates thought about and deployed evolving forms of color image-making and photography, tapping into global visual cultures with nineteenth century (and earlier) historical trajectories. Vivid evangelistic posters in quasi-photographic styles, hand-tinted lantern slides and photographic prints, and later color film embodied ideas about the roles of color in relation to cross-cultural visual modernities, local and international. Furthermore, these visual practices and products ultimately escaped their missionary mold and entered global perceptions, shaping transpacific views of modern China alongside Chinese engagements with the world. Drawing from his new book, Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China, Professor Joseph W. Ho will discuss intersections between color imaging, technological and religious imaginations, and transnational visions that transformed twentieth century Sino-Western encounters on both sides of the lens.
     
    Short Bio:
     
    Joseph W. Ho is Associate Professor of History at Albion College, Michigan, and a Center Associate at the University of Michigan’s Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. He is a historian of modern East Asia, US-China encounters, and transnational visual culture and media. Ho is the co-editor of War and Occupation in China: The Letters of an American Missionary from Hangzhou, 1937–1938 (Lehigh University Press, 2017), and the author of Developing Mission: Photography, Filmmaking, and American Missionaries in Modern China (Cornell University Press, 2022). In 2024–2025, he will be the EDS-Stewart Distinguished Research Fellow at Boston College's Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, and is currently preparing his next monograph, Bamboo Wireless: Mediating the Cold War in Asia.  


  • September 19, 2023

    Chromatic Imagination: Realising Early Colour Photography in Britain, 1890 to 1939
    When colour photography emerged in industrialised societies in the late nineteenth century it sparked industrial and scientific interest for some and aesthetic and conceptual concern for others. Over the course of fifty years, from 1890 until 1939, the accessibility of colour photography changed dramatically, culminating with the widespread uptake of Kodak Corporation’s Kodachrome colour-coupler technology in the late 1930s. Kodachrome reversal film redefined the photographic industry. It was celebrated as the solution to nearly one hundred years of research and development concentrated on finding a way to make affordable and practical colour pictures, and was so proficient that by the early 1940s it was in position to usurp the majority of competing colour processes established before it.
    The flourishing industry of colour photography that existed before Kodachrome was driven largely by improvements in technology, including the introduction of aniline dyes and faster equipment; increased accessibility because of changing economies; and evolving conceptions of colour in public consciousness as it related art, advertising and collective taste. Although most nascent colour photography enterprises failed, the sheer volume of processes introduced signifies an enormous amount of creative velocity attributable to diverse thought and experimentation on behalf of colour photography’s innumerable stakeholders. Through consideration of the meaning of colour in contemporary British society, and the economic and social networks that underpinned the industry, this thesis aims to establish a stronger understanding of the competitive and dynamic market for early colour photography between 1890 and 1939.
    Bio
    Hana Kaluznick is Assistant Curator of Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). She was Assistant Curator of the expansion of the V&A Photography Centre (2023) and has contributed to other V&A displays including Known and Strange (2021) and Valérie Belin / Reflection (2019). She is a PhD student at the University of Liverpool studying the industrial history of early colour photography.
    Suggested reading is the first chapters of ‘Chromophobia’ by David Batchelor 
    https://archive.org/details/chromophobia00batc_0/page/24/mode/2up
    Target audience: Historians of Britan, Curators, Industrial Historians.


  • June 20, 2023

    TBA


  • May 16, 2023

     
    Eastman Kodak and Early Color Photography: From Competitive Threat to Research and Promotional Tool 
    by Prof. Joris Mercelis (Johns Hopkins University).
    My presentation will briefly outline my current book project, “The Long Shadow of Kodak: Market Dominance and Scientific Control in Twentieth-Century Photography,” before turning to the aspects of this work-in-progress that might be most relevant to members of this working group. My book examines the nature and scope of the Eastman Kodak Co.’s influence over photographic knowledge production and circulation, exploring to what extent this multinational enterprise could translate its near-monopolistic position on markets for photographic film and cameras into scientific and technological control. Although color photography is not a specific focus of this research, it mattered in several different ways, three of which I highlight in this talk. First, from at least 1904 onward, Kodak founder George Eastman and his associates approached color photography as a (potential) technological alternative that posed a major competitive threat and therefore had to be controlled.
    This concern about market dominance prompted Kodak to invest substantially in color-related research and development work—most famously but by no means exclusively at the Kodak Research Laboratory in Rochester, NY, which was even partly established for this reason. Second, in parallel to Kodak’s search for a color photography process suitable for the mass amateur market, the company’s researchers managed to improve the sensitivity of photographic materials to specific regions of the light spectrum, thus helping to create new photographic visions valuable for scientific and military purposes. For instance, from the 1910s onward, Kodak supported the development of infrared photography and the “thermal vision” that this technique enabled. Not untypically, Kodak took into account the interests in infrared imaging of users ranging from anthropologists and art conservators to astronomers and the photographic surveillance personnel of the U.S. Army Air Corps, and several of these groups effectively came to depend on the company for their specialized photographic needs. Third and finally, within five years of the public announcement of three-color Kodachrome film in 1935, scientific institutions with which Kodak collaborated had started using color photography as a marketing tool. For example, in the context of a tropical photography research program initiated early in World War II, Kodak and its military and civilian partners used Kodachrome not only for research purposes (e.g., to document material-damaging fungi) but also to generate enthusiasm for the study of tropical biology. More specifically, with Kodak’s support, Kodachrome color slides and motion pictures were deployed extensively to promote the U.S.-controlled biological station in Panama that later became known as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
     
    Joris Mercelis is an assistant professor at the Department of History of Science and Technology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. His research interests include the economic history of science and technology and the histories of chemical and photographic technology, science, and business. He is the author of Beyond Bakelite: Leo Baekeland and the Business of Science and Invention (MIT Press, 2020) and a co-editor of special journal issues of Ambix, History and Technology, and Management & Organizational History.
     
    Recommended reading: 
    Mercelis Joris. “Commercializing Academic Knowledge and Reputation in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries: Photography and Beyond.” History and Technology 23–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2017.1338553.
    Mercelis Joris. 2022. “‘Men Don’t Like to Work Under a Woman’: Female Chemists in the Photographic Manufacturing Industry Ca. 1918–1950.” Ambix 291–319. https://doi.org/10.1080/00026980.2022.2097980.
     

     


  • April 18, 2023

    In Natural Colours. Three Colour Photography in Spain. 
    Laura Covarsí. April, 2023.
    In the first quarter of the 20th century, the definitive evolution of colour photographic processes took place, but also its commercialization. Apart from the well-known success of autochromes, various other trichromatic colour processes appeared, that would perfect the production of colour images in books and magazines and satisfy the increasing appetite for them.
    But not all of these trichromatic photographic processes had the same application. Some of them were used to obtain colour images on paper demanded by a smaller market: the amateur photographer and the client of photographic studios. These exclusive products, especially when we think of trichromatic colour portraits, became more accessible to the general public from the twenties onwards after the resolution of some technological impediments such as the simultaneous shooting of the three-colour separation negatives. These techniques are included in the group of subtractive colour processes, and we consider them photomechanical since only dyes are used for their final printing step and no photosensitive materials are involved. Techniques such as Hicro, Pinatype, Sanger- Shepherd, Uvatype or Jos-Pe are some of the commercial names for these processes.
    Due to the lack of knowledge of these techniques, many of these prints in museums and archive collections are not correctly identified or catalogued. And neither are the printing matrices, colour separation negatives and other materials used in the process. They remain hidden among other negatives and positives in the collections, waiting to be discovered.
    This presentation illustrates this situation from the specific case of the Jos-Pe process (dye imbibition process patented in Germany in 1924) and its apparent absence in Spain. The lack of identified specimens in our collections led us to believe that the process was not used. However, the discovery of a portrait of Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal, an outstanding theoretician of colour photography in Spain, made with this process, prompted the beginning of this research.
    Bibliography:
    Jos-Pe Farbenfoto. (1927 and 1930). Hamburg.
    Covarsí, L. (2022). The Jos-Pe process in the Jacob Merkelbach collection at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. COLOR CULTURE AND SCIENCE Journal. Milan : Gruppo del Colore – Associazione Italiana Colore. DOI: 10.23738/CCSJ.00.
    Friedman, J. (2010). History of color photography. Milton Keynes, UK: Lightning Source.
    Koshofer, G. (1986). Die Farbfotografie III. Lexikon der Verfahren, Geräte und Materialien. München: Laterna Magica /Callwey.
    Pénichon, S. (2013). Twentieth-century color photographs. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.
    Proaño, A., Neevel, H. (2020). Analysis of Jos-Pe colourants used in Jacob Merkelbachs photographs from the 1930s. RCE Research Report No. 2018-126.Ministry of OCW, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Cultural Heritage Laboratory. Amsterdam
    Ramón y Cajal, S (1912). La fotografía de los colores : bases científicas y reglas prácticas. Madrid: Ed. Moya.
    Wall, E., 1928. Practical color photography. Boston: American photographic Pub. Co.
    Willekens, L.C.C. (1926). Het Jos-pé Kleurenprocédé. Fotografische bibliotheek, 11A. Dordrecht: C. Morks Cz.
    Biography
    Laura Covarsí Zafrilla is an independent conservator and researcher specialized in photographic heritage. She received her M.A. in Conservation from Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, Portugal, with an internship in the photographic archive of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona (Spain). She previously studied History of Art (University of Salamanca, Spain) and Photography (School of Arts of Huesca, Spain). She worked for public and private collections in Spain and at the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam between 2017 and 2019. She also works as a photography curator.
     
    EN COLORES NATURALES. FOTOGRAFÍA TRICROMA EN ESPAÑA.
    Laura Covarsí. Abril, 2023.
    En el primer cuarto de siglo XX se produce la evolución definitiva de los procedimientos fotográficos en color, pero sobre todo se desarrolla su comercialización. Al margen del conocido éxito de los autochromes, en este panorama hacen aparición otros procesos que, aplicando los principios de la fotografía tricroma, perfeccionarán la impresión de imágenes en color en libros y revistas.
    Pero no todos estos procesos fotográficos tricromos tuvieron la misma aplicación. Algunos de ellos se emplearon para obtener copias en color sobre papel, demandadas por otro tipo de clientes, un mercado de menor alcance: el fotógrafo amateur y el cliente de los estudios fotográficos. Un producto exclusivo, sobre todo si hablamos del retrato, más accesible a partir de los años veinte tras la resolución de algunos impedimentos tecnológicos como el disparo simultáneo de los tres negativos de separación de color, que hasta el momento hacía difícil el desarrollo de este género. Estas copias en color son fotomecánicas ya que para su impresión final solo se emplean colorantes y no están implicados materiales fotosensibles. Nombres como Hicro, Pinatype, Sanger- Shepherd, Uvatype o Jos-Pe son algunos de los nombres comerciales para este procedimiento.
    Debido al desconocimiento de estas técnicas en el entorno de museos y archivos, no solo muchas de estas copias no están identificadas o catalogadas correctamente, sino que tampoco los artefactos fotográficos empleados en el proceso (matrices de impresión, negativos de separación de colores,…) lo están y permanecen ocultos entre otros negativos y positivos de las colecciones, esperando a ser descubiertos.
    Esta presentación ilustra esta situación desde el caso concreto del proceso Jos-Pe (proceso tricromo de imbibición patentado en Alemania en 1924) y su aparente ausencia en España. La inexistencia de ejemplares en nuestras colecciones nos llevaba a pensar que no se empleó. Sin embargo, el descubrimiento de un retrato del premio Nobel Santiago Ramón y Cajal, destacado teórico de la fotografía en color en nuestro país, realizado con este proceso, ha supuesto un cambio en esta idea y el inicio de esta investigación.
    Biografía
    Laura Covarsí Zafrilla es conservadora e investigadora independiente especializada en patrimonio fotográfico. Obtuvo su MA en Fotografía, Conservación de Patrimonio Fotográfico en el Instituto Politécnico de Tomar (Portugal), realizando las prácticas en el Archivo Fotográfico del Museo Marítimo de Barcelona. Previamente estudió Historia del Arte (Univ. Salamanca) y Fotografía (Escuela Superior de Artes de Huesca). Ha trabajado para colecciones públicas y privadas en España y en el Rijksmuseum de Amsterdam. También trabaja como comisaria de exposiciones de fotografía.


  • March 21, 2023

    Illuminating Fashion: the colour of clothes in Autochromes 1907-1930
    Presenter: Cally Blackman (Senior Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, UAL, London)
    This presentation addresses Cally Blackman's book which will examine fashion between 1907-1930 through the lens of the autochrome as a robust register of colour. A technological advance, the autochrome links photography with fashion, often upheld as a metaphor for modernity, and both
    were integral in mediating the influence of colour on commerce and consumer culture at this period.
    (Published by Thames & Hudson early 2024).
     
    Reading Material, attached below:
    - Cally Blackman. Costume Journal, vol.48, no.2, 2014, "Colouring the Claddagh: a distorted  view?"
    - Cally Blackman. Costume Journal, vol.56, no.1, 2022, "The Colour of Fashion at the Salon du Goût Français: a virtual exhibition of French luxury commodities, 1921-1923."
     
    Targeted Audience: French Studies, Fashion Studies, Curators, Designers,
    Cally Blackman is a fashion historian with over twenty years experience of teaching and writing, having published several books on the subject: 100 Years of Fashion Illustration 2007, 100 Years of Menswear 2009, 100 Years of Fashion 2012, A Portrait of Fashion 2015 and Fashion Central 2019. She has been researching the representation of fashion and clothing through autochromes for much of this time, its importance to the field being that this process affords a unique and robust register of colour during the period it was in use that is more reliable than other types of visual media, including printed material and even painting, and therefore is extremely useful as evidence of the colour of clothes in high fashion and the everyday dress of ordinary people. She has given several presentations on this topic at international conferences, including: in 2014 Mode et Guerre Europe 1914-18: fashion, dress and society during World War 1 at L'Institute Francais de la Mode, Paris; in 2015 Fashion at 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, Institute of Historical Research, University of London; in 2018 Der Wereld in Kleur: kleurenfotographie voor 1918, Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam; in 2021 Colour Fever, V&A, London.
    Her forthcoming book is the first to use the autochrome as a medium for viewing the history of fashion and will include approx. 350 examples of autochromes and complimentary images, and 40,000 words of text and captions. The autochromes, some of which have not been published before, have been sourced from museum, archive and private collections all over the world. In addition, Cally is acting as co-curator and consultant on a forthcoming exhibition, Les Couleurs de la Mode, at the Palais Galliera, Paris, of autochromes from the Salon du Gout Francais archive from June 2023-March 2024.


Group Conveners

  • Janine's picture

    Janine Freeston

    Free-lance researcher, cataloger and digitizer of photographic archives, author, consultant, co-curator of photographic exhibitions, tutor and associate lecturer. She specializes in early color photography and photographic processes, currently researching the associated technological and litigious aspects of trichromatic technology up to the 1930s. Her completed thesis Colour photography in Britain, 1906-1932: Exhibition, Technology, Commerce and Culture - the Dynamics that Shaped its Emergence, will shortly be available. Janine is currently co-authoring an undergraduate study guide to understanding and applying research methods for photography in cultural studies and coordinates annual research symposiums on behalf of the Royal Photographic Society Historical Group with Andrew Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Photography at Sheffield Hallam University for academics, writers and collectors at any stage of their research.

     

  • Hanin's picture

    Hanin Hannouch

    Dr. Hanin Hannouch (she/her) is Curator for Analog and Digital Media at the Weltmuseum Wien, where she is responsible for the collections of photography, film, and sound. Since November 2022, she has been a member of the advisory board of the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh). She is the editor of the first volume on interferential color photography titled "Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums" (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) and has guest-curated the exhibition "Slow Colour Photography" about it at Preus Museum: National Museum of Photography (Norway). Moreover, she is the guest-editor of the journal PhotoResearcher Nr. 37 "Three-Colour Photography around 1900: Technologies, Expeditions, Empires". Dr. Hannouch was a Post-Doc, among others, at the Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut where she investigated colonial color photography in the 19th and early 20th century. She earned her PhD from IMT Lucca, Scuola Alti Studi (2017) with a dissertation on the history of film and art in the Soviet Union titled "Art History as Janus: Sergei Eisenstein on the Visual Arts," after completing an international Masters degree in art history and museology (IMKM) at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2014), as well as another Masters (2012) and a Bachelors focusing on European modern art at the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik (Lebanon). She speaks Arabic, French, English, German, Italian fluently and continues to learn Russian. Currently, she is writing her monograph on the history of color photography in Imperial Germany, as well as another book on the history of the photography collection at the Weltmuseum Wien.

     

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