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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

Today (September 13) I have a couple of submitted items: --------------- Mark Twain on Daguerreotypes: ". . .spread-open daguerreotypes of dim children, parents, cousins, aunts, and friends, in all attitudes but customary ones; no templed portico at backs, and manufactured landscape stretching away in the distance-- that came in later, with the photograph; all these vague figures lavishly chained and fringed--metals indicated and secured from doubt by stripes and splashes of vivid gold bronze; all of them too much combed, too much fixed up; and all of them uncomfortable in inflexible Sunday clothes of a pattern which the spectator cannot realize could ever have been in fashion; husband and wife generally grouped together- husband sitting, wife standing, with hand on his shoulder- and both preserving, all these fading years, some traceable effect of the daguerreotypist's brisk 'now smile, if you please.'" From "The House Beautiful" (chapter XXXVIII) from "Life on the Mississippi", Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), first published 1874 by H.O. Houghton and Co. I should also note that Samuel Clemens sat for his daguerreotype as a boy. The image, in which Samuel hold printers type spelling his name, can be seen in Harold F. Pfister, "Facing the Light: Historic American Portrait Daguerreotypes" (Washington, D.C.: The National Portrait Gallery, 1978) page 19 (figure 1). Thanks to Roger Watson of the George Eastman House for this submission. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Good friend Susan Barger forwarded me the "current events" item: An event in connection with the "Secrets of the Dark Chamber" exhibition: Sunday, September 17, 1-4:30, there is a free Photo Fair at the National Museum of American Art. *Watch Robert Shlaer take actual daguerreotypes of visitors on the museum steps while he explains this fascinating process. *Join Brian V. Jones in his Polaroid studio and take home pictures of yourself, family, and friends. *Experiment with sunprints and pinhole cameras and find out how to make them at home. *See the latest in digital photography and watch the amazing transformations on the big screen. ____________________________ On Monday, September 18, from 3:30-5:30 pm at American Art there is a Teacher's Workshop relating to the curriculum for grades 7-12 and including a demonstration of the daguerreotype process. Presented by Deborah Klochko, Deputy Director for Public Programs, The Friends of Photography, San Francisco and master daguerreotypist Robert Shlaer, Santa Fe. Reservations required. For information call: 202-357-4511. ____________________________ Robert will also be giving a talk for the Goucher College Historic Preservation Program on Fremont's Fifth Expedition and the daguerreotypes of Solomon Nunes Carvalho. The Goucher talk is on September 21 (Thursday). Call Goucher for more information. The talk will be in Washington, not Baltimore. Robert will also be making daguerreotypes of the Museum of American Art and doing commissions as they come up. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 09-13-95

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