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Camera Obscura Image of Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room

1996 Abelardo Morell Born: Havana, Cuba 1948 gelatin silver print image: 29 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (74.9 x 100.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation © 1996, Abelardo Morell 1998.159 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

To produce this image of New York City, Morell created a camera obscura. He covered the windows of a room with dark plastic and cut a small hole as an aperture. As light entered the space, it projected a reverse image of the outdoors on the opposite wall, which Morell then photographed. This disorienting inside/outside scene can evoke dreams, fragmented memories, or the feeling of being between two cultures at once.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013


Architecture Interior

Cityscape - New York - Manhattan

Object - tool - ladder

photography - photoprint


paperboard - ragboard

gelatin silver