Daguerreian Society

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" 

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.

Posted for your enjoyment.       Gary W. Ewer      

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