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Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography

Science, Media, Museums

314 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Physicist Gabriel Lippmann's (1845–1921) photographic process is one of the oldest methods for producing colour photographs. So why do the achievements of this 1908 Nobel laureate remain mostly unknown outside niche circles? Using the centenary of Lippmann’s death as an opportunity to reflect upon his scientific, photographic, and cultural legacy, this book is the first to explore his interferential colour photography. Initially disclosed in 1891, the emergence of this medium is considered here through three shaping forces: science, media, and museums.

A group of international scholars reassess Lippmann’s reception in the history of science, where he is most recognised, by going well beyond his endeavours in France and delving into the complexity of his colour photography as a challenge to various historiographies. Moreover, they analyse colour photographs as optical media, thus pluralising Lippmann photography's ties to art, cultural and imperial history, as well as media archaeology. The contributors also focus on the interferential plate as a material object in need of both preservation and exhibition, one that continues to fascinate contemporary analogue photographers. This volume allows readers to get to know Lippmann, grasp the interdisciplinary complexity of his colourful work, and ultimately expand his place in the history of photography.
Author Bio
Dr. Hanin Hannouch is Curator for Analog and Digital Media at the Weltmuseum Wien. She has guest-curated the exhibition "Slow Colour Photography" about interferential colour photography at Preus Museum: National Museum of Photography (Norway) and is the guest-editor of the journal PhotoResearcher Nr. 37 "Three-Colour Photography around 1900". She is currently writing her monograph about the history of colour photography in Imperial Germany. William R. Alschuler earned a doctorate in astronomy from University of California, Santa Cruz and has been at the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts since 1992. He has previously published articles on holography and Lippmann photography, has compiled a catalogue raisonné of Lippmann photographs, and contributed ten articles to the Encyclopedia of 19th Century Photography (2007). walschuler@hotmail.com Prof. Dr. Klaus Hentschel double-majored in physics and philosophy at the University of Hamburg, submitted his thesis in 1989 on philosophical (mis)-interpretations of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and took his ha_x0002_bilitation degree in 1995 on the interplay between scientific instrument design, experimental practice, and theory formation in spectroscopy and astrophysics. He is professor of the history of science and technology at the University of Stuttgart since 2006 Lazaros C. Triarhou is professor of neuroscience at the Department of Psychology, Aristotelian University Faculty of Philosophy in Thessaloniki, Greece. He obtained his MD from the Aristotelian University and continued his training in the United States, where he completed a MSc in neuroscience at the Center for Brain Research at the University of Rochester, New York, and a PhD in medical neurobiology at Indiana–Purdue University in Indianapolis. Susan Gamble is a visual artist who works in photo-technology, including holography. With her partner, Michael Wenyon, they are UNESCO laureates for their work in technology. Gamble has a BA in fine arts from Goldsmiths College, London and a PhD in the history of science from Cambridge Uni_x0002_versity. She was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT. Wenyon & Gamble have work in the photography collection of the V&A Museum, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, and the MIT Museum; they have exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Tokyo Museum of Photography, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, and many other venues. Gamble has previously written on this topic. Prof. Dr. Jens Schröter has been chair for media studies at the University of Bonn since 2015. He was professor of multimedial systems at the University of Siegen from 2008 to 2015. From 2008 to 2012, he was director of the graduate school Locating Media at the University of Siegen; he is director (together with Anna Echterhölter, Vienna; Andreas Sudmann, Bochum and Alexander Waibel, Karlsruhe) of the Volkswagen Foundation-main grant How is Artificial Intelligence Changing Science. Dr. Elizabeth Cronin is the Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography at the New York Public Library and author of Heimat Photography in Austria: A Politicized Vision of Peasants and Skiers. She has curated and co-curated such exhibitions as Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs and Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography. She holds a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, an MA in art history from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in German studies from the Technical University of Dresden. Rolf Sachsse was trained by Karl-Hugo Schmoelz and Walde Huth as a pho_x0002_tographer with a specialisation in advertising, architectural, and industrial photography. He studied art history, communications research, and German literature in Munich and Bonn. He completed his PhD on the history of architectural photography in Germany (1900–1975) in 1983. Until 2017, he was professor for design history and design theory at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar in Saarbrücken. Since 2018, he has been a lecturer at the University of Bonn. Dr. Hans I Bjelkhagen, a consultant at Hansholo Consulting Ltd, was awarded his doctoral degree in 1978 by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Over the last fifteen years, Bjelkhagen has received much international recognition for his work in the field of colour holography. In 1983, Bjelkhagen joined CERN in Geneva, Switzerland and, in 1984, Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. Between 1985 and 1991, he was at Northwestern University, working on medical applications of holography Jens Gold has been a photograph conservator at Preus Museum: National Museum for Photography (Norway) since 2002. Currently, he is PhD Candi_x0002_date at the University of Oslo – Institute for Archaeology, Conservation and History, with the research project: “Lippmann Interference Photography: History, Materiality and Treatment Challenges”. He completed his studies in photography conservation in 1998 from HTW Berlin- University of Applied Sciences, and he graduated from the University of Oslo in 2018 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. Curator and head of the exhibitions department at Photo Elysée, Museum for Photography, in Lausanne, Pauline Martin is an art historian and author of a PhD thesis about the history of blur in photography. She has published several books, including L’oeil photographique de Daniel Arasse. Théories et pratiques d’un regard (Fage éditions, 2012) and L’Évidence, le vide, la vie. La photographie face à ses lacunes (Ithaque, 2017). Curator in charge of the photographic archives at the Institut pour la photographie des Hauts-de-France since 2021, Carole Sandrin has been curator head of the preservation department of Photo Elysée, Lausanne from 2011 to 2020. She was in charge of the Société française de photographie collection from 2005 to 2011 and graduated with a professional MA in the preservation of cultural goods (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne) in 2010. Author of several articles on scientific photography, she has co-curated exhibitions on the SFP collection, the amateur photography around 1900, the history of projected photography, Charlie Chaplin, Agnès Varda and Bettina Rheims. Nathalie Boulouch is an associate professor at Rennes 2 University. She teaches history of contemporary art and history of photography. Between 2014 and 2019, she was director of the Archives de la critique d’art and coordinated research programmes exploring the archives of art critics on different topics. Since completing her PhD on autochrome photography in France (1903–1931), her main research has focused on the history of colour photography (19th–20th centuries) from a technical, cultural, artistic, and critical point of view Manuel del Cerro is professor emeritus of ophthalmology and neurobiology at the University of Rochester, New York. A native of Argentina, he obtained his BA and BSc degrees from the Buenos Aires National College and his MD from the University of Buenos Aires Medical School. He is one of the most active microscope collectors in the United States, and he is the founder of the Microscope Historical Society.