19th Century Photography Revisited (PHO4258.01)

Jonathan Kline

This class investigates a variety of photographic processes that evolved in the second half of the nineteenth century and continue to be used by contemporary photographers today. We will explore the historical and chemical aspects of the following: photogenic drawings, cyanotypes, collodion glass plate negatives, and Van Dyke Brown prints.

In addition, we will be researching the work of early practitioners whose work is outside the canon of photography’s history and has been found and catalogued in digitized archives both in North America and beyond. The intention is to consider the historical photograph both as an object and as a representation of a message from under-recognized sources.

Each student has the opportunity to print their own images with a variety of these processes, and to become familiar with making enlarged negatives digitally and in the wet lab. The 4×5 view camera will also be introduced, along with slide presentations and assigned readings. Students are required to keep a notebook/journal of their experiments, and to present a final creative portfolio of ten prints at the end of the term demonstrating technical competency with one process.


Learning Outcomes:
-to become technically competent with making glass plate negatives, cyanotypes, Van Dyke Brown prints, and digital negatives.
-to become familiar with under-recognized 19th century practitioners.
-to become familiar with contemporary practitioners utilizing these processes today.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students will be selected based upon review of a creative portfolio of photographs. All students are expected to already have technical proficiency with analog film processing and printing using light sensitive paper. Please submit work by Friday 5/11/22 to Veronica Melendez's office. Students can retrieve their portfolios on Monday, 5/16/22. For additional information, students can contact Jonathan Kline (jkline@bennington.edu).
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M 1:40PM - 5:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Photography , Fully In-Person
Tags: , , ,